Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marqez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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Characteristics of Magical Realism in Gabriel Garcia Marqez's A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

The controversy surrounding Magical Realism makes the classification of what is and what is not Magical Realism very difficult. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a famous Latin American author, has written many pieces of what is generally conceived to be Magical Realism. Marqez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" fulfills every characteristic of Magical Realism..

"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" includes many aspects, which may be described as magical. In the story, an old man with a very poor set of wings is found and kept as a pet for several years. These wings were described by the doctor in the story as "...so natural on that
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The language used by Magical Realists such as Marqez contains a romantic quality. "The world was sad since Tuesday" (525) describes the mood of the people as not only sad, but extraordinarily sad and for a space of time as well.

The magical elements are treated as though they are somewhat acceptable. The characters react to the old man with wings as one reacts to an out of ordinary person. Once the novelty has passed, the person becomes ordinary.

Though elements of magic exist in the story, a realistic environment surrounds the actions. The family that houses the angel makes the realistic decision of selling admission to see the angel in order to better their financial standing. They also tire of the angel eventually, treating him as though he were a dog. Only when he becomes "ill" does the family begin to worry about him.

The mobs that abandon the old man are very fickle. Just as fans are in reality, they desert one fad for another. The lady spider is a new fad, and the old man suddenly seems ordinary in comparison to her.

The use of details causes the reader to render close observation toward the subjects of the story. The angel is a "flesh and blood angel," and his description is very grotesque. There is no grandeur in describing the angel or the spider. The ordinary aspects of the story give it a realistic allure. The use of a chicken coop to house the angel is very humbling. The characters do not have mansions or summer homes. They
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