Reality and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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Reality and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Literally, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” is a story about a Colombian family visited by a mysterious man with wings. The townspeople pay to visit this man who is encaged in a chicken coop. Once the townsfolk loose interest, the chicken coop collapses and the man flies away. A closer reading of the text reveals underlying themes. The supernatural being is a representation of the unknown. He stands out from the rest of civilization. Society likes to think of itself as being open-minded. The people in the story did not want to believe that the man was an angel because then they would have to reconsider everything they believe in. Angels are commonly thought of to be elegant, beautiful creatures usually wearing white with a spiritual presence, not disease infested beings who wallow in their own filth. This allegory makes you question your own perception of what angels look like. We do not know for sure that all angles are not old men with few teeth who reek of squalor. We do not have any tried and true methods of determining the validity of an angel. The priest tested the man by speaking to him in Latin, the language of God, and by looking for a navel or a miracle. Even though the “angel” did not pass any of the tests, the people in the story believe that the old man must be a celestial being because there are no other feasible possibilities to his identity. The author stresses the fact that humans thought this man with wings was an odd creature that should be on display for the world to see and abuse like a caged animal. Human ignorance causes uncivilized behavior. Many people would be reluctant to place a being that fit into our definition of an angel into a chicken coop. If this in all actuality had been a real angel, then the townsfolk approached the situation inappropriately. Another important point that this story addresses is how we treat other people, especially those who are different from us. This demonstrates just how ignorant and cruel some people can be. When the old man was first seen, Peyalo ran away from the man, leaving him lying in the mud instead of helping him. Not a one cared where he came from or why he was there for any other reason than to acquire money off of him.
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