Old Man With Enormous Wings Magical Realism Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Old Man with Enormous Wings

Magical Realism

Magical realism, according to author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, "…expands the categories of the real so as to encompass myth, magic, and other extraordinary phenomena in Nature…" (Marquez, Creighton.edu). Marquez has used magical realism very effectively in his short story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings; he blends realism and fantasy so well that there does not seem to ever be a movement in the narrative from realism to fantasy. The English Department at Emory University takes the definition to a deeper level, suggestion that magical realism "…aims to seize the paradox of the union of opposites (emory.edu). Magical realism takes two very different (or "conflicting") perspectives and places them side-by-side for the sake of drama in a fictional narrative, according to the Emory University explanation.

One of the perspectives in magical realism is based on "a rational view of reality," but the other perspective is presented assuming the reader will accept the "…supernatural as prosaic reality" (Emory.edu). And magic realism is quite different from pure fantasy because as in Marquez's story, there is a normal, unexceptional world established but within that world magical things occur as part of an ordinary routine. Another way to look at it is to view magical realism through the lens of European rationality versus "the irrational elements of a primitive America" (Emory.edu).

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

In Marquez's story, the author creates a very easy-to-relate-to plot, a well-written, and highly crafted -- and yet in one sense an unbelievable -- narrative. But all of a sudden this smooth flowing story becomes infused with some magic as an angel falls to Earth in a very violent rainstorm. Angels are not real, the reader may have been thinking throughout his or her life; angels are found in the Bible, in literature, or in movies like "City of Angels" or "Meet Joe Black" or even "It's a Wonderful Life. But nevertheless in Marquez's story an angel appears and while the angel provides help for a family that is very poor and is steeped in pain from a son who is dying, the family becomes all too human and greedy and tries to take advantage of this miracle.

The reader encounters a miracle when the old man arrives, and Marquez describes him as perfectly natural, so natural that the reader is invited to believe that a "…flesh-and-blood angel" could arrive to help a struggling family. People viewing this character had various explanations, which allowed Marquez to provide some human characterizations to help the contrast between the real and the supernatural. The "simplest" people that viewed the angel figured he should be named "mayor of the world," an absurd idea but it helps describe human simplicity. Other people who had "sterner" minds (but were obviously rather narrow in their focus) had the idea that the angel should become a "five-star general" so wars could be won.

That is an ironic thought -- and shows what could be thought of as flaws in Marquez's characters -- because angels have in literature and in spiritual contexts represented peaceful ideas, not ideas infused with violence. Even the parish priest is shown through the plot and the characterization strategies of Marquez to be shallow in thinking. Why would an angel that just dropped in from on high speak the same language as a priest? Why would an angel automatically be an imposter because he doesn't speak the language of a priest?

Meanwhile Marquez's style is to not only allow the reader to see what this old man with wings looks like (including his "few faded hairs left on his bald skull" and the parasites that were to be seen in his soiled feathers), and how others see him (like a "huge decrepit hen among the fascinated chickens"), but he makes sure we can smell the old man with wings. The old man had "…an unbearable smell of the outdoors," which, while not specific, offers enough information to imaging that the angel didn't smell fresh as a daisy.

The descriptiveness and clever use of comparison by Marquez helps the reader become fully engaged with this interesting specimen that came down from the sky in a storm. For example, a traveling carnival showed up with a "flying acrobat who buzzed…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:


Cite This Essay:

"Old Man With Enormous Wings Magical Realism" (2012, June 11) Retrieved December 11, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/old-man-with-enormous-wings-magical-realism-77301

"Old Man With Enormous Wings Magical Realism" 11 June 2012. Web.11 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/old-man-with-enormous-wings-magical-realism-77301>

"Old Man With Enormous Wings Magical Realism", 11 June 2012, Accessed.11 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/old-man-with-enormous-wings-magical-realism-77301

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel

    Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dogmatism, Intolerance to Difference, and Magic Realism: A Critical Analysis of a Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Gabriel Garcia Marquez, well-known Colombian novelist and short story writer, is known for his creation of the literary genre called "magic realism," where magic exists along with reality, blurring the division between the two. This genre is evident in Marquez's

  • Unconventional Children s Tale A Very Old Man

    Unconventional Children's Tale "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a lot of things. It's a great story, it's a satire on organized religion, it's a perfect example of magical realism, and - to be brief - much more, but one thing it is not is a conventional tale for children.1 When one thinks of children's tales, what does he/she think of?

  • Marquez Literary Analysis Fending Off

    The angel's position as a symbol of faith is revealed not only through his wings, but also through his first appearance drenched in mud. In Christian theology, the relationship between God and man began with God's creation of Adam through a mixture of earthly clay and divine spirit (Genesis 2:7). The angel's appearance in the mud highlights the duality of this relationship -- that it is at the same

  • Garcia Marquez and Otherness

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" is a work written in the author's signature mode of magical realism: the story has the logic of a fable or a dream, even though it is narrated in the most matter-of-fact way possible. In this brief story, told with almost no directly quoted dialogue, we learn of the sudden appearance and sudden disappearance of the title character

  • Effect of Postmodern Theory on the Study of the Short Story Genre

    Postmodern Lit. An Analysis of the Postmodern Short Story Robert Coover's "Going for a Beer" passes like a dream: the faint perceptions of a man who does not know if he is coming or going -- or as Coover puts it, whether he has achieved an "orgasm" or not -- in the midst of various connections and misconnections to an assortment of characters. At the end, his life is over and all

  • Evolution of Batman From the

    In Miller's Batman, one sees a man waging war on a world that has sold its soul for empty slogans and nationalism: the Dark Knight represents a kind of spirit reminiscent of what the old world used to call the Church Militant -- he is virtue violently opposed to all forms of vice -- even those that bear the letter S. On their chests and come in fine wrapping. Miller's

  • Ad to Present the Civil

    S. responded to the Great Depression by electing FDR, who brought out his Alphabet Programs which were supposed to put the nation back to work with public works projects. When that failed to restore the economy, the world elected to start with a new war: WWII. Germany had been buried by the Western powers following WWI -- and now the country threatened to assert itself once more. Russia was in

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved