Garcia-Marquez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Essay

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Garcia-Marquez's “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Symbolism is often used to subtlely enhance a story’s meaning by adding emphasis and details to the story line. However, Garcia-Marquez, in “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, cloaks his tale for children in a dreamlike quality conveyed purely through symbolism. Clues to his intended meaning can be drawn from the old winged man whom the story revolves around, from the metamorphous of the family who take him in, and from outsiders’ reaction to this phenomenon. The old winged man symbolizes those that are different and perhaps alien. He also represents those who are unable to contribute in any traditional form. The story opens during a four day storm as Pelayo and his wife…show more content…
Elisenda’s conception of charging the inquisitive for a peek at the angel brought great wealth to the family. With this wealth Pelayo exchanges his position as bailiff, guarding dangerous criminals for that of running a rabbit warren, guarding the gentlest of creatures. Meanwhile, Elisenda becomes a lady of high social status. As days turn into years Pelayo and Elisenda accept the angel’s presence, but yet do not wish to repeat the experience. This fact is evidenced in the design of their mansion: “...high netting so that crabs wouldn’t get in...and with iron bars on the windows so that angels wouldn’t get in”(444). Throughout the years the angel lives with the family, the sickly infant is strengthened into a healthy schoolboy. This young boy is the only one who never knows the angel to be foreign, and therefore truly accepts him. The bond between them is so close that they even share chickenpox. The story’s participants from outside the nucleus household include the wise neighbor, Father Gonzaga, and the Spider woman. The wise neighbor called in by Pelayo and Elisenda at the discovery of the old man is responsible for the angel label. This wise woman represents superstitious beliefs. She believed “...angels in those times were the fugitive survivors of a celestial conspiracy...” and advised Pelayo and Elisenda to “club him to death”(441). Father Gonqaga and his correspondence with the church symbolize the inability of the church to shed any
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