In establishing the character of the old man, Garcia Marquez plays against traditional stereotypes of angels. Angels are supernatural creatures and are expected then to be presented in images that convey grandeur, perfection, wisdom, and grace. By definition, angels are contrasted with humans; though they resemble humans physically, they are superhuman in every conceivable way. But like Father Gonzaga, the reader's first response to the old man is likely to be that he is ‘‘much too human.’’ Instead of presenting a majestic, awe-inspiring figure, Garcia...
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