A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez

Start Your Free Trial

Apply the principles of post-structuralism or deconstruction to "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings."

Expert Answers info

Zachary Batt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseProfessional Writer

bookB.A. from DePauw University


calendarEducator since 2019

write7 answers

starTop subject is Literature

Deconstruction and post-structuralism are both concerned with subverting traditional understandings of meaning in a text. Deconstruction in particular looks to identify areas of paradox, contradiction, and disunity. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 1955 short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” lends itself particularly well to a deconstructive reading due to inherent ambiguity around natural and supernatural elements of the story.

The story begins with Pelayo and his wife, Elisenda, sweeping a large amount of dead crabs out of their home and into the sea. An indoor crab infestation, while maybe not supernatural, appears quite unnatural to readers. Yet, Pelayo and Elisenda regard it as a common occurrence and casually sweep the crabs away. An explanation for the infestation is never given. The story makes it seem like an explanation is not needed. This theme of something unnatural being regarded as commonplace continues when Pelayo finds an old man...

(The entire section contains 494 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial