An Analysis Of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

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Preconceived notion can result in judging an individual which can lead to them being exploited. The society should generally be generous to everyone, especially those that are new. However, newcomers are often degraded or left alone. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s story, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, the old man is assumed to be an angel (because of his wings) who had come to take Pelayo and Elisenda’s child. As a result, the old man is captured and is treated terribly. The old man, although is innocent, is treated like a culprit, many people come visit as if he is an animal in the zoo and the people try to make him do things such as move and eat which he clearly does not want to do. Therefore, in a typical society, people have preconceived…show more content…
The use of the cliché, “flesh-and-blood angel” suggests that the old man is not an angel because angels are pure spirits. However, the narrator uses magical realism to describe the old man when Pelayo and Elisenda see him for the first time, “Huge buzzard wings.” Therefore, the community gives him the angel label. As a result, the old man is treated as if he is not welcomed to their community. The fact that the writer states that Pelayo “dragged” the old man, exaggerates this act. The hyperbole illustrates the idea of being cruel. Pelayo could have done the same thing in another way. Keeping in mind that he was dragging an old man. Furthermore, it is ironic that Pelayo keeps the man with wings in the chicken coop and not any other place. Since the old man has wings, Pelayo is categorizing him in a group of winged animals. Furthermore, it is also ironic that Pelayo captured the old man to look down upon him, but it turns out that lots of people come to visit which makes the old man a great thing. Yet, because the old man does not completely fit their sense of what an angel should look like, they discount his importance, thus they capture him. This proves that the villagers are gullible in their beliefs and how they perceive the world. The fact that they kept him in the mud all afternoon and then locked him into the chicken coop shows how coldhearted they are. As the old man looks different compared to normal humans, they…show more content…
Yet, he doesn’t defend himself. “His only super natural virtue seemed to be patience.” The old man waits as if he knows that this torture is only for a while, even if it takes a few days. His bearing in the midst of torture does in fact make him somewhat supernatural compared to normal human behaviour of intolerance for a span of time, thus making him different from the society. Readers start to have empathy towards the old man. They realise that what the community is doing to the old man is wrong. However, because Marquez portrays the community as people who have preconceptions, he writes the deeds that the people do to the old man as they are in the mindset of him being an outsider and different. These deeds show the dark side of human behaviour. Such as fear, paranoia, greed and hypocrisy. Pelayo kept the old man captive in the fear that the he was an angel who came for their child. He was worried for his child, but he didn’t think about the conditions of the old man. They were kind enough to spare him, but they kept him in a dreadful environment. Moreover, they predicted the behaviour of the angel. The wise neighbour assumed that the old man will eat mothballs since he is an angel and angels eat mothballs according to her. They just jumped to conclusions and actually tried to feed him it. Nevertheless, the fact that the old man even turned down
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