An Unconventional Paper on an Unconventional Children's Tale

1651 Words7 Pages
An Unconventional Paper on an Unconventional Children's Tale "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a lot of things. It's a great story, it's a satire on organized religion, it's a perfect example of magical realism, and - to be brief - much more, but one thing it is not is a conventional tale for children.1 When one thinks of children's tales, what does he/she think of? Perhaps the images that are conjured up are princes and princesses, magic castles, big bad wolves, etc. What doesn't come to mind is a very old man with enormous wings, who is "dressed like a ragpicker" (Marquez, 1955, p. 337). And as Marquez (1955) tells the reader in further detail, "There were only a few faded hairs left on his bald skull and very few teeth in his mouth, and his pitiful condition of a drenched great-grandfather had taken away any sense of grandeur he might have had. His huge buzzard wings, dirty and half-plucked, were forever entangled in mud" (p. 332). These are not the typical characteristics one would find in a children's story, particularly with regards to the protagonist in. What Marquez is describing is not a beautiful maiden in distress or a gallant knight off on a chivalric quest, rather he is giving the reader a tactile rendering of an invalid with "dirty, half-plucked" wings, a geriatric shitbird, or my favorite description, a "senile vulture" (Marquez, 1995, p. 337). While the very old man with enormous wings is not an

More about An Unconventional Paper on an Unconventional Children's Tale

Open Document