A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings Summary

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Different stories involve various elements that are mostly linked to real life. But, still, there are some other elements of stories that are related to the experience one can imagine as the world of fantasy. The same is the case with the account named “an ancient man with enormous wings,” written in 1955 through Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The story has its imaginative strength that directly attracts readers primarily because of the fantasy created through the involvement of an old man with its enormous wings.

A very old man with enormous wings symbolism

The story talks about a couple who found the old man with its wings in their courtyard, during the time of rainstorm lasted for many days. When the couple found the old man in their courtyard, they first observed him like a disoriented, homeless, and helpless person with his miserable condition, as the old man looked forgetful and absent-minded (Tony, 2004). Therefore, the primary purpose of this paper is to analyze the story “a very old man with enormous wings, whereas talking about the elements used within the story, especially those that have made this story as fiction or world of the fantasy-based story.

Through the nature of the story, it would be fine to claim that the author has tried to use the element of magical realism within the story, especially through the character of the old man with enormous wings. The notion of magical realism linked with the literary techniques that have been used through many other authors and their work in Latin America. The idea of magical realism is made through the connection of realism with fantasy (Williams, 2009).

A very old man with enormous wings analysis

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Now, coming to the story, the author has also tried to focus on the idea of magical realism as the major theme of the story. In other words, the story also shows the combination of realism and fantasy, especially when it comes about to observe a man with wings, for instance. The narrative linked with the man shows authenticity, as many stories involve characters. Whereas, the idea of wings counts towards the involvement of fantasy, as having wings is an idea that is beyond this real world of the affair.

With the purpose to tell a story, the authors used many techniques in their literary works, so the method to involve the magical realism clearly shows its connection with folkloric storytelling technique — for instance, the involvement of the life of a couple, Pelayo and his wife Elisenda, and their encounter with one of the fanatic idea that is the man with wings showing fantasy, as part of the story (Marquez).

A very old man with enormous wings theme

So, at this point, it becomes obvious that the story “a very old man with enormous wings” incorporates the notion of magical realism because the story involves both realism and fantasy as major part of the storytelling. The story depicts or reveals a living myth that can be imagined and observed in both real and in the world of fantasy as well. In this respect, it would be fine to claim that the author of the story tried to direct readers toward a dreamlike setting in which one can feel or observe or can live through a time involving real and fantasy, in combined form, that is called as magical realism.

Now coming to the second thing essential to be analyzed, while reading a summary of the story “a very old man with enormous wings,” is the scarce and cruel nature of human beings towards the old man. The story reveals that the couple started showing the old man publically while charging people and making a lot of money. But, after some time, people thrown rock pieces to hit the old man, showing the cruel and strange nature of human beings towards other creators. However, at last, when the old man finally disappeared, leaving people at the time (Marquez).

The scarce and cruel nature of people towards the old man depicts the fact that realism and fantasy cannot survive together, using the fact that realism suppresses the illusion, especially when it gets close to the real nature of being part of a fantasy. In a broader sense, the story tries to tell its readers that the combination of realism and fantasy is vague and cannot have an end. The story of “a very old man with enormous wings,” is such an example in which the author has tried to blend realism and fantasy to attract its readers. However, the way the story has written by the author shows a sense of being a fantasy-based story having no end, as readers always find at the end of every story (Marquez).

A very old man with enormous wings summary

In conclusion, through the narration of the story “a very old man with enormous wings,” it would be fine to say that the author has first used magical realism as part of the literary technique, at one hand. Secondly, the author’s story itself shows the fact that magical realism cannot go parallel, but in imagination-based writings. The story shows real life with the fantasy life of an old man crashed down on land and found himself among human personalities. The story also shows that the fantasy life of the old man appeared so different from real-life human treatment and that is why the end of the story remained unanswered because no one can even think about living a real life in the world of fantasy. For instance, a human person cannot fly in the real world because of having nom wings, but in fantasy, a human personality may have wings to fly.

A very old man with enormous wings questions

So, the element of magical realism, as incorporated in the story, appeals to the attention of readers, at one hand. Whereas, on the other hand, the story also shows its unanswered end because the idea to combine realism with fantasy cannot be even imagined just due to the truth that fantasy is beyond the real world of the affair and human thinking is limited to approach beyond this material world of the affair. Therefore, the overall narration of the story “a very old man with enormous wings” involves the element of magical realism, as fantasy part of the story, and cruel and scarce nature of the real world as realism, major elements of the story making it the fictional or fantasy-based story.



Marquez, G. G. (n.d.). A very old man with enormous wings: a tale for children . Retrieved from www.jonescollegeprep.org: http://www.jonescollegeprep.org/ourpages/auto/2014/1/29/42934518/A_Very_Old_Man_with_Enormous_Wings_pdf.pdf

Tony, M. (2004, 11 12). A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. Retrieved from medhum.med.nyu.edu: http://medhum.med.nyu.edu/view/12287

Williams, R. L. (2009). The Twentieth-Century Spanish American Novel. University of Texas Press.

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