Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: Religious Symbolism

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: Religious Symbolism

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Believers or Followers?
Religion has had a profound effect on human culture; unfortunately, the trouble with it is faith, which creates skepticism in many individuals. In order to accommodate the issue of faith, religions have regulations, values, and ceremonies, making religion a belief system, hence creating clarity to support faith. Catholicism has become a belief system that feeds its follower with answers; however, these answers are only assumptions. There are no factual answers, and as a result, religious leaders have created an expectation in which religion is supposed to fit; nonetheless, its accuracy is unknown. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings,” the values of religion are the center of criticism. A man with enormous wings, the protagonist of the story, is never strictly classified as man or angel. He is a rejected by society because he goes against the society’s expectation of what a true angel should be, an expectation taught to them by religion. The ambiguity of the old man with enormous wings tests the true faith of the followers of Catholicism, symbolizing an archetypical Christ figure. Both the priest and society’s foul response to him demonstrates the society’s understanding of religion to be superficial. As a result, the story argues, followers of religion must not rely on the assumptions their religion has created but believe instead, with faith.
The old man with enormous wings is a representation of an archetypical Christ Figure. Even though the man with enormous wings is neither classified as man nor angel, he is a Christ figure. Similar to Jesus, the man with enormous wings comes to Earth in an unexpected form. The Old Testament claims that the Messiah will live as...

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...icism has such a profound affect on the townspeople’s beliefs; they are unable to look past the appearance of the old man and realize that he is divine. Instead of enhancing the faith of the society, religion has destroyed it.
Religion, which is meant to enhance the faith of it followers, has done the opposite. The practices of religion have become overwhelmingly factual that the faith component of religion has vanished. In order to be a genuine beliver one must comprise an authentic faith. Both religious leaders and followers must realize that their religion is not factual, but sustained through faith. The key to the gates of heaven is faith, not facts.

Works Citied
1. García, Márquez Gabriel. A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. Trans. Gregory Rabasssa. Print.
2. The Holy Bible: New King James Version. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1982. Print.

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