The Dark Realities of Human Nature: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Category: Culture, Realism
Last Updated: 19 Jun 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 95

Gabriel Garcia-Marquez created a brilliant short story, once which forces his reading audience to suspend disbelief and understand a fairy tale of the modern era. The title of the work is is labelled as a children's tale would be, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children." Anyone can see the simplicity of the title, and although the story is in essence about a very old man with enormous wings, what is being described is more an allegory to the ignorance of people and how even a miracle in action can't change human nature. When the reader knows of Garcia-Marquez and his works on the imprisonment he experienced, it makes a lot of sense that the transgressions of his writings apply to things he must have thought up with so many years to himself locked away. The story is centered around a married couple, the husband in Pelayo and his wife, Elisenda.

Pelayo discovers the old man with wings, and he rescues him from the aftermath of a terrible rainstorm. The couple is convinced the old man is an angel sent to them as a sign, and in turn they treat him as an exhibit to recreate their life. Elisenda charges a toll to people from all around to see the 'angellic' man with wings; with the earnings from the angel exhibit, Pelayo is able to rebuild a home and have enough for him and Elisenda to live well and happily (ever after). The climax to this story is most interesting as it plays on the readers and their emotions. The final words of the story explain how the man is fully recovered from his daze on the streets, and how he decides to ascend into the horizon on his own accord. This magical realism blends fantasy with the realities of how humans would react to such a cause and effect. Garcia-Marquez created a brilliant modern day fable which entertains the most imaginative and wild at heart.

The focus of this analysis is more on the darkness and decrepit nature of man described within the tale. The visit to the fortune teller of sorts shows that their are those who know nothing of anything, but will offer their advice regardless. The 'teller' made claims that the angellic man was in reality a force of death when in turn she knew nothing of the divine, supernatural, or of the dweller in Pelayo's home. The dark nature of exploiting the angel is surely a dark take, and it is understandable that such a topic can be sensitive, espeically to those who find inspiration in religion and scruples.

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The tale of the angel plays on the magical realism take, and in turn this story is more a dark-comedy as opposed to something truly horrific. I do completely agree that the climax of the tale almost sets the man with wings free from the bounds of the darkness of this world, a world in which humans are the only thing to truly fear. The play on imagination is all involved with magical realism, and it is the consistency of a fairy tale which confuses yet tantalizes the mind. I enjoyed the analysis and agree with it to certain extents.

This take on the story finds intricacies within a lot of the environments and actions of the protagonists. The chicken coop in which the man with wings is held in could very well be seen as a prison of sorts, and it is quite interesting that Pelayo would put such a majestic, winged creature in a chicken coop. It shows the disrespect humans can have towards nature and animals, and it brings out a darkness in the protagonists that almost make them antagonists in retrospect.

The prejudice described in this analysis makes sense, but it seems there is less hatred and more exploitation on the part of Elisenda and Pelayo. There is no direct prejudice to the man with wings (unless the chicken coop emplacement is considered enslavement, and imprisonment) but there are moments of him being taken advantage of in the worst way for profit. Marquez had a point of showing that even if a miracle did occur right in front of most people's eyes, life wouldn't change in the slightest. Human nature is consistently fight or flight, and it is hard to change human nature at its most center core.

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The Dark Realities of Human Nature: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. (2023, Jun 19). Retrieved from

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