A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez

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Explain how Gabriel Garcia Marquez satirizes the institutions of authority in his story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.”  

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The institution of authority everyone turns to in order to authenticate the supernatural status of the old man with wings is the Roman Catholic Church. This institution is represented by the local priest, Father Gonzaga.

The story satirizes (pokes fun at) the church for two main weaknesses. The first is for judging the supernatural by worldly standards. Father Gonzaga is unwilling to pronounce the winged man an angel because the man does not live up to his preconceptions of how clean and pure an angel should be:

He had an unbearable smell of the outdoors, the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites and his main feathers had been mistreated by terrestrial winds, and nothing about him measured up to the proud dignity of angels.

Second, and more importantly, the story pokes fun at the slow and irrelevant way the church decides on spiritual issues. Father Gonzaga refuses to make a decision about the supernatural nature of the man with wings and simply kicks the can up the ladder of...

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