In Gabriel García Márquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,"  why does the angel appear in the form of a very old man who speaks like a Norwegian?I do not understand why the angel is an old...

In Gabriel García Márquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,"  why does the angel appear in the form of a very old man who speaks like a Norwegian?

I do not understand why the angel is an old man, and i also do not understand why he would speak like a Norwegian if they believe he is an angel, neither detail makes sense to me.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Gabriel García Márquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," the author might be trying to get you to ask almost the opposite question, i.e. “Why shouldn’t an angel appear in the form of an old man with an odd accent?”

On the accent, the villagers are not presented as the sort of cosmopolitans who can identify specific foreign accents, so that rather than “Norwegian” it is better to think of his voice as “different” or “not local”.

Next, if you think of the angel in the Christian context in which Marquez lived and wrote, consider that Jesus, the son of God, appears in the Bible not as a handsome aristocrat, but as a poor carpenter from the “hick town” of Nazareth and many people in the New Testament are seen as reviling him and not taking him seriously because he is poor and uneducated.

The angel, as Jesus, serves as a test of people’s moral character. The people who mistreated the angel, because he was a poor shabby old man, like those who reviled Jesus, are showing themselves unworthy of the gifts that God gave them, a facet of their characters they might not have shown if God had sent more outwardly impressive messengers.

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