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Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Story

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one of the most prominent writers of contemporary time, whose works masterfully combine elements of reality and fantasy, modern philosophical achievements and folk motives, and mythology. Moreover, the author presents all this to the reader in the form of a parable and succinct, precise writing manner. A striking example of such a synthesis can be discovered on the pages of his story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. In this work, realism can be seen in the use of ordinary and extraordinary events.

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In the story, Marquez narrates the strange appearance of an unusual creature, who looks much more like a man than an angel, in a country yard with ordinary people. The story’s tone is definite from the beginning, presenting the most natural and unwanted events, namely, a sick child amid a nasty setting. In the first few sentences, the author’s writing style immediately impresses by the words, “The world had been sad since Tuesday,” further detailing the gray and rainy weather (Marquez, n.d.).

However, the opening paragraph also contains apparent magical elements, introducing the surreal character of “a very old man with enormous wings,” “impeded by his enormous wings” (Marquez, n.d.). In this regard, Marquez destroys the readers’ idea about mighty and holy angels, placing him in the mud and making him miserable and piteous.

In addition, using magical realism, Marquez also creates a world with its natural human tendencies, behaviors, feelings, and inclinations that predominantly are violent, selfish, aggressive, and too mercenary and pragmatic. For example, some villagers throw leftover food into the old man’s cage, others pluck feathers from his wings, believing that this would help against diseases. Even local minister Father Gonzaga rudely notes that the angel is “too human” since he has an “unbearable smell of the outdoors” and “the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites” (Marquez, n.d.). Herewith, readers can feel the supernatural power the central hero possesses, which is evident in his endless patience and ability to endure terrible maltreatment with all twitchings, pushes, and pokes.

Overall, using magical realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez opens doors for interesting reasoning and encourages readers to enter the place of the imagination and dive into their thoughts to see how they collide with everyday life.

Work Cited

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Story." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/marquezs-a-very-old-man-with-enormous-wings-story/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Story." May 7, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/marquezs-a-very-old-man-with-enormous-wings-story/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Story'. 7 May.

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