What details in "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" illustrate fantastic elements characteristic of magical realism?Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the fantastic elements mentioned, in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" has several creatures come after the news of the captive angel spereads throughout the area.  One visitor is a flying acrobat "who buzzed over the crowd several times," but, the narrator remarks with irony, no one pays attention because the acrobat has "sidereal bat wings" rather than angel wings.

That the old man could be neglected and somehow molt into a creature capable of again flying is also an example of magical realism.  While he go through this metamorphosis, he also sings sea chanteys under the stars and is "delirious with the tongue twisters of an old Norwegian."

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One detail in "A Very Old man with Enormous Wings" is finding a very old man face down in the mud struggling under the weight of enormous wings. Another fantastic detail that is part of magical realism is the Spider-woman, a girl (now a woman) who was turned into a tarantula spider because she disobeyed her parents by going dancing and now travels in a circus teaching children to obey their parents.

Yet another detail of fantastic magical realism is that the old man could be confined in the chicken coop and neglected and yet survive through various seasons until the time came that he could grow new feathers and fly away.

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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