A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

by Gabriel García Márquez

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What is the old man's true identity in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings?

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The identity of the old man is never specified which is actually the purpose of the writer; to keep the genre of magical realism and the overall mysteriousness of the story. The man speaks in a strange language and can barely move around when he first appears in the story. The presence of normal looking wings first convince the villagers that he is an angel but the scruffiness and ragged appearance cause doubts on his being and existence as an angel. The main theme of the story is ambiguity and the writer deliberately refrains from directly stating what he really is. The aggrandized attraction he gets from the villagers first came from a rumor that he is an angel but Father Gonzaga quickly accuses the old man for being an 'imposter'. The debate and arguments regarding his identity is continued throughout the story but it is never revealed which contribute to the overall obscurity of the story.

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