A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez

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I would like to know any comments on the translation of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I would like to know any comments on the translation of "A Very Old Man with...

I would like to know any comments on the translation of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I would like to know any comments on the translation of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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amy-lepore eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This story makes me think of Frankenstein, Shrek, or The Elephant Man.  We fear what we do not understand.  We are instantly transformed to mob behavior...grab your pitchforks and torches!  Chase him, beat him, kill him.  This is the material world's effect on an otherwise good person...the Good Samaritan, if you will.  Alone, a person would be more likely to treat the old man (angel) with kindness.  In a mob, being goaded by fear and miscommunication, people become monsters.  The story tells us something about ourselves.  It is a strong suggestion to look inward and wonder about how we would treat a person who means us no harm, but who frightens us because of his strange or different appearance. 

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write13,728 answers

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I think #2 makes a number of valid points about this excellent short story. However, I also think that this story has a lot to do with symbols and signs and our need to interpret them. Through reading all of the strange and mysterious happenings, Marquez seems to deliberately be taunting us with the question of what it all means. By offering us no significant clues or answers to this question, Marquez seems to be pointing towards the futility of trying to make meaning from meaningless, random events. This another aspect of the story that must not be neglected.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this story, "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I always am reminded of the Bible verse:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2 (AKJV)

Dale Evans and Roy Rogers had a baby with Downs syndrome, who died before her second birthday. Dale wrote a book about her entitled, Angel Unaware.

The question is: if an angel walked among us, how would we act—would we notice?

We tend to value those around us based upon our perceptions of them which sometimes are prejudiced, and often have no basis in fact. How childish! This is, in my opinion, how the old man with the very large wings is treated in the village where he finds himself.

When he appears on the beach after a violent storm, Pelayo and his wife are not sure what to make of him. Aside from the wings on the man's back, they believe he may be a marooned sailor. He cannot move. Unsure what to do, a neighbor proclaims their visitor an angel, and tells them to kill it—it will only bring them trouble.

This part of the story is...

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