A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings and Its Magical Realism Essay

Decent Essays

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings and Its Magical Realism Angels are commonly thought of to be elegant, beautiful creatures usually wearing white with a spiritual presence, not disease infested beings that wallow in their own filth. This idea served to a great Colombian writer for one of his most important works endowed with magical realism. Magical Realism is a technique that blends real and supernatural events together to make the supernatural seem real. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, magic really stands out because it contains two very supernatural events.
The two major supernatural occurrences in the story are the old man with wings and the girl who has been turned into a spider. The people …show more content…

Marquez contrasts the supernatural in the story with vivid natural details, thus conflating the supernatural and the everyday. Pelayo does not see a large difference between a natural oddity, the invasion of his house by crabs, a supernatural one, and the invasion of his house by a decrepit angel. Indeed, when Pelayo and Elisenda build their mansion, they secure it from crabs and angels alike, thus treating both as equal nuisances. Moreover, the angel's wings are described in gross, vivid detail, and when he first appears they are crippled by mud. He is described in one place as a senile vulture, in another as a 'huge decrepit hen among the fascinated chickens', and in paragraph four the crowds treat him as a 'circus animal instead of a supernatural creature.' These comments serve to blur the distinction between the natural and supernatural. Garcia Maquez may be suggesting that such a distinction is unnecessary, or that the people are simply blind to it. Whether it is a failure to impose the boundary or ignore it is a matter of interpretation, and the story, ultimately, invites interpretation more than it invites meaning.
The story illustrates the human need to interpret life's events. The Old Man, an exaggerated dramatization of any strange event, is interpreted in many different

Get Access