"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is told by a third-person omniscient narrator who stands above the story, informing us of what is going on from a place outside of the story's events. Strikingly, however, this narrator seems only to be able to relay the thoughts of the villagers in the story, particularly Pelayo and Elisenda, the couple who find and care for/exploit the old man. We also learn the thoughts of the priest, who evaluates whether or not the old man is an angel, and we are privy to the collective voice of local people, who react to the visitation of this old man as a strange event and insist, despite the warnings of the priest, on considering him an angel.
What we might most like to know, however, are the thoughts of the old man himself. Yet we only see him from the outside, as the villagers do. For example, when Pelayo and Elisenda try to speak to him,
he answered in an incomprehensible dialect with a strong sailor's voice.
Because they can't understand what he says, we can't either. Because they have no access to his thoughts or interiority, we do not either. Therefore, although the narration is clearly omniscient—it moves in and out of different people's minds—the speaker chooses to limit this omniscience. By not explaining to us who the old man is or what he is thinking or not thinking, the narrator leaves this figure as mysterious to us as he is to the villagers.