What is the relationship between this story and Gabriel's real life?Explain what these things are and why they relate to the story.

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sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Marquez grew up with his grandfather.  His grandfather and his grandfather's community were entrenched in the old traditions of storytelling, which combined historical events with explanations that were more religious or supernatural in nature.  This applies to the story because of the nature of the old man.  The man is not understood by the village because of  his wings, so they interpret the wings religiously, calling him an angel.  This explanation from the characters, and the supernatural aspect of having a title character be a man with wings who can fly, are the elements of "magic realism" that are such a part of Marquez's writing.  This style is influenced by his grandfather.

Marquez lived with his grandfather because of a declining economy.  His father left Marquez there while going off in search of work.  The village where Marquez was born was dying economically.  This is similar to the village in the story, which is described as poor and run-down.  The arrival of the magical old man is so important because it begins to bring financial security to the village.  They used the man as a source of income, as a side show, and the wealth of the people increased.  When it did, the man flew away.  In Marquez's life, when his father's financial security became more stable, Marquez was taken away from his grandfather - symbolically, taken away from the magic he knew as a youth.

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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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