Essay about A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Essay about A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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In “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children,” Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of a supernatural winged creature first discovered trapped in a mud puddle during a heavy rainstorm. Marquez initially just describes it as, “a very old man . . . impeded by his enormous wings” (Marquez 380). Throughout the story, however, characters use the term “angel” for the creature because “a neighbor woman who knew everything about life and death” in an authoritative seer-like manor proclaims, “He’s an angel . . . [that] must have been coming for the child, but the poor fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down” (Marquez 381). Despite the neighbor woman’s confidence in her assertion, Marquez never definitively makes known the creature’s true nature. While Marquez vividly describes various characteristics and actions of the “angel,” the true significance and depth of the story is in Marquez’s often satirical exploration of the various other characters’ perception of and interaction with the creature. Marquez may call the story, “A Tale for Children,” but it is, in fact, far from a children’s tale, as it is a complex story that satirically deals with mature human behaviors and themes starting with its very first line—the title.
While subtitled “A Tale for Children,” Marquez’s story lacks most of the characteristics often found in of children’s stories. Frequently children’s stories focus on action; Marquez focuses on the characters and their interactions. While there is some action in the arrival, treatment, and departure of the “angel,” much more attention is focused on how the various characters act towards and react to the “angel.” Children’s stories are often about childhood or express a child’s point of view; excep...


... middle of paper ...


...” is not a tale for children.


Works Cited

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. “Little Snow-White.” Trans. D. L. Ashliman. 2005. Children's and Household Tales. 1812. Web. 9 Feb 2014.
---. “The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage.” Trans. D. L. Ashliman. 2002. Children's and Household Tales. 1812. Web. 9 Feb 2014.
---. “The Six Swans.” Trans. D. L. Ashliman. 2002. Children's and Household Tales. 1812. Web. 9 Feb 2014.
---. “The Three Little Men in the Woods.” Trans. D. L. Ashliman. 2003. Children's and Household Tales. 1812. Web. 9 Feb 2014.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children.” Trans. Gregory Rabassa. Literature for Composition: Essays, Stories, Poems, and Plays. 9th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, William E. Cain, and William Burto. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2011. 380-384. Print.
“Satire.” LiteraryDevices.net. n.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb 2014.

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Essay about A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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