A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

by Gabriel García Márquez
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How can Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" be interpreted as an "Eastertide" story?

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The wondrous ending of Gabriel Marquez's story proves that the old man, ridiculed and berated by man, is greater than the fallible people as he finally flies away,

with the ungainly flapping that slipped on the light and couldn't get a grip on the air.  But he did manage to gain altitude.  Elisenda let out a sigh of relief, for herself and for him, when she saw him pass over the last houses, holding himself up in some way with the risky flapping of a senile vulture.  She kept watching him...until it was no longer possible for her to see him, because then he was no longer an annoyance in her life but an imaginary dot on the the horizon of the sea.

For, the old man with enormous wings transcends the foolish superstitions and credulity and greed of man that would kill him, and, instead, establishes his supernaturalness as he is far greater than the estimation of the people who have viewed him.  For Elisenda, who cannot comprehend, he is relegated to her paradoxical perception that the old man was but an "imaginary dot." 

That the angel is more miraculous than humans is recognized by the doctor who sees "the logic of his wings"; he is able to resurrect himself from the unreasonableness and doubt of the human and return to the heavens. In one instance of the befuddled people, they give him mothballs to eat, but he wisely refuses them while the grotesque spider-woman, whom the people accept as evidence of "human truth," eats meatballs that the people throw into her mouth.  In addition, Father Gonzaga rejects the old man as an angel because he does not speak the language of the Church, Latin; however, when the angel "rant[s] in his hermetic language," the people fear him as a "cataclysm in repose."

While the people believe that the old angel will die in the winter, he somehow improves, stiff feathers grow upon his wings, and he begins to sing.  And, with his spiritual virtues of what critic John Gerlach calls "muteness and patience in the face of human ignorance and exaggeration" as

he tolerated the most ingenious infamies with the patience of a dog who had no illusions

about "the expression of human fallibility," the longsuffering old man with enormous wings resurrects himself and ascends to the heavens. Indeed, with its spiritual being who is misunderstood and persecuted by the humans, but transcends the mortal world by ascending into the heavens,  "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" can be interpreted as an Eastertide story. 

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