What does the story "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings" say about people?

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Continuing that theme, humans are portrayed as having a short attention span.  We move from flashy item to flashy item as the people of the town, giving up interest in the old man for the new "spider woman".  Furthermore, humans take for granted the blessings in their life.  Although the angel has brought them wealth, Pelayo and Elisenda find him to be a nuisance in the end, and are sick of picking up feathers and having to look at him.

However, there is a shining moment at the end.  Even though the old man's health seems to be deteriorating, he is able to pull into himself once others have stopped troubling him.  He sings to himself and heals himself, finding individual strength.  At the end, he flies away and escapes the prison he has been trapped in.  Independence and freedom at celebrated by this symbolic character, but the others of the story have yet to find it, and are trapped in the prison and cycle of their own lives.

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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