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Old Man With Enormous Wings Symbolism

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In his short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of an ordinary village and how its inhabitants’ lives change after encountering the sudden arrival of a strange, winged man. The old man, referred to as an angel by the villagers, becomes a widely renowned attraction despite his lack of identity and comprehension. As a writer of magical realism, Garcia-Marquez strives to incorporate the old man’s supernatural character as an allusion to Christ and as a result gives way to the old man’s poor physical condition, humble personality, status as a popularized foreigner, and miraculous behavior that exposes the reader to humanity’s incapacity to appreciate the inherent value of spiritual wonder. In order to emphasize him as a Christ-like figure, Marquez depicts the angel with old, weak, and disheveled physicality. This description of the angel helps to strike the reader's’ attention towards his more human characteristics and deviate them from the preconceived notion of a pure and holy being, a rhetorical strategy often used in Scripture when describing Christ. Upon Pelayo and Elisenda’s first encounter with the angel, the narrator describes him as “a very old man, lying face down in the mud, who, in spite of his tremendous efforts, couldn't get up” and that he had “only a few faded hairs left on his bald skull and very few teeth in his mouth...his pitiful condition of a drenched great-grandfather had taken away any…show more content…
In order to accomplish this, Marquez utilizes the character of the old man as an allusion to Christ and therefore gives the old man a poor physical condition, humble personality, status as a popularized foreigner, and miraculous behavior, all of which aid in ultimately demonstrating the human inability to admire the intricacy of the
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