Literary Analysis Of A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

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Literary Analysis: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings:
A Tale for Children
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children” which was written in 1955 by Gabriel García Márquez has been described by many as difficult to understand and hard to follow. Faulkner describes it as having a “charming (but unsettling) effect” (1) on readers. Raney says that the story leaves most readers not fully understanding it because it uses a “subtler irony” (108) that “whispers” (108) to them and that it leaves too many “loose ends” (106). In this day and age, where most “live in Literal Land” (Raney 108) readers need assistance in order to hear and understand this type of irony, they need definitive hints, and they need to be told what to
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The first thing that Faulkner points at as unsettling is the fact that a creature with wings “must be either a monster or a miracle” (1) and yet the doctor in the story writes him off as being normal, that his wings are logical even. No one question’s the man’s wings or how he got to Pelayo and Elisenda’s courtyard. Faulkner states that the author has left it impossible to fit the old man into any preconceived mental box because there is “tension between the old man’s magical and human qualities” (1). The old man in weak, feeble, almost bald, and his feathers are full of parasites and yet he has these wings along with qualities that are magical and there is the fact that he has performed miracles despite them not meeting expectations. Not knowing if the old man is an angel (since he does not project what we visualize an angel looking and being like), a monster, or just a weathered old man with growths on his backs that are called wings leaves the reader confused. Looking past the old man, there is the ambiguity of life, “as it is lived in this timeless, nameless village” (Faulkner 1). In this village anything can happen, or so one is led to believe. For instance, for disobeying your parents you could be turned into a spider. The reader may be more apt to believe that this is possible if it not for the fact that other than the old man, everything else about the story seems
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