Discuss the blend of realistic and fantastic details in this story.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many details that combine realistic with fantastic:

--The old man seems real, but his wings are enormous buzzard wings

--The fantastic creature is confined to a chicken coup

--The "old man" can speak, but his language is an incomprehensible dialect.

--a woman who has been changed into a spider arrives and relates her terrible punishment for disobeying her parents.

--The owners charge admission to see the old man.

--The old man so imprisoned in the chicken coup tolerates the infamies "with the patience of a dog who had no illusion."  He and the child both come down with the chicken pox.

--Elisenda, like a typical woman with an unwanted guest, grows very weary of the old man.  He seems to be everywhere to her.  When he leaves, she heaves a sigh.

--After appearing to be near death, the old man's wings heal and he is able to fly--"with the risky flapping of a senitel vulture."

--Elinsenda watches him until it is no longer possible because he has been eliminated as an annoyance in her life even though his fantastic appearance has brought her family wealth.

Read the study guide:
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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