The Old Fallen Angel

1276 Words3 Pages

The concept of angels on earth is commonly believed in and often relates to the topics of life and death, so much so that if one were to appear there would be constant hopes of miracles being performed. The short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez says a great deal about the way humans behave react to those who are weak, dependent, or different. The old man with wings signifies how the people tend to create information out of nowhere when it is not given immediately. The circumstances the old man with enormous wings finds himself in show a unique, but vaguely relatable, condition that leads him to become a significant part of society and then witness a withdrawal of attention. The story begins with a man named Pelayo who discovers a homeless, disoriented old man on his property whom he discovers to have very large wings. The old man is dirty and seemingly senile, and speaks an incomprehensible language. After seeking out the input of a neighbor, Pelayo and his wife, Elisenda, decide that the old man must be an angel who has tried to come and take their sick child to heaven. At first their neighbor tells them that they should kill the old man, however, the couple sees that their child has recovered and so they take pity on the man and allow him to stay in their chicken coop. Soon after the man begins to form a nest in the chicken coop he starts to form a crowd of people curious as to who or what he is; not only are the people from the village coming to see this man, but when news begins to spread visitors travel from all across the land to see him. It is not long before the local priest, Father Gonzaga, becomes involved in the situation and the theory that he may be an angel begins to circulate... ... middle of paper ... ... part of the old man, his seemingly natural wings, that caught their attention and lead them to believe he was an angel is now what convinces them that he is a mysterious creature most likely from hell. In conclusion, human nature shows a very strong tendency to move between social stimuli randomly an inefficiently. The old man with wings ought to have had a very unique experience considering that he must not be able to understand any of the people who are trying to extract answers from him. Furthermore, this man’s situation is practically mimicking the modern day idea of retirement homes. The spider woman helps show that as time moves on more and more fads will arise; just as old ones will fall. In the end, the true miracle would have been if the village people recognized that the old man was his own person and not something to be displayed, exploited, and abused.

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