What does the man with enormous wings represent in "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"?

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The author is not explicit about what the old man with wings represents, so a reader can have a fair amount of latitude with this question. Personally, I have always liked to emphasize the fact that the old man has wings. That is shocking and amazing and awe-inspiring. It should immediately call to the mind images of heaven and heavenly creatures. It is miraculous; however, that is not the only response of the people to the fact that this old man has wings. Take the doctor that examines the old man as an example. The doctor notes how the wings fit the old man's body. They are not some kind of tacked-on addition. The doctor's response is that the wings appear entirely natural, and he wonders why other people don't have wings. The old man essentially appears so normal with wings that people without are the oddity.

Other descriptions take away the amazing qualities of the wings, too. They are "buzzard wings" and "strewn with parasites." They are "dirty and half-plucked." There is nothing...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 941 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 16, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 22, 2020
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