A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez

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At what point in "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" did you first know that it included elements of fantasy? What is the effect of the second sentence, "The world had been sad since Tuesday"?

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The title of Gabriel García Márquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" immediately tells a reader that not all is as it might seem within this story; certainly, human men do not have wings! This is quickly verified within the first paragraph of the story, when Pelayo discovers the old man lying facedown in the mud, unable to pick himself up because of the weight of these wings. Márquez is a well known magical realist writer whose approach to literature is to drop elements of the extraordinary into otherwise realistic worlds.

The second sentence is also highly characteristic of magical realist writing, in that it imbues a non-human entity ("the world") with the personality traits and emotions of a human ("was sad"). This is known as personification, and it is a common approach within this genre, which frequently views objects and non-living entities as having agency or "lives" of their own.

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Although the title of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous...

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