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Essay # 3: Magical Realism and Symbolism
Allegory is a story that has a second meaning beneath the surface, endowing a cluster of characters, objects, or events with added significance; often the pattern relates each literal item to a corresponding abstract idea or moral principle. As an allegory, Marquez's story certainly has both literal and symbolic levels. Wings represent power, speed, innocence and spiritually. It introduces, the center idea of this story is the dark side of human behavior - hypocrisy, greed, fear and paranoia. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” tells an intricate, complex story about the relationship between the old man and the townspeople that find him is very strange. This is a short story about a ragged old man who is found stuck in the mud in a town. He has giant wings attached to his back, and when taken in by a townsperson, he is treated like a prisoner because of his appearance. The other townspeople come to observe the man and conclude that he must be an angel; however this does not stop them from treating the old man badly. Each day the angel is treated horribly by curious townspeople who see him as a disgusting animal. The sub-genre of the story is a sublime lens on magical realism. The old man symbolizes man's reaction to what he cannot or does not understand and the spider-woman appeals to the humans because she can explain how she became a spider-woman, teaching them a moral about children obeying their parents.
At first, people preconceived ideas about certain things, and the old man as an angel doesn't fit our notion of what angels should be. He is dirty and old, not majestic, certainly not fitting as an angel of God. However, while Marquez's "AVOMWEW" is in the style of a folk or fairy tale, it does not provide a moral lesson. The old man represents humanity and his mistreated from the townspeople, which their religion shows them what an angel to be like. The “angel” appearance made the human doubt their believe if his more human than angel. These humans have different expectation of what an “angel” should look like and the tongue it should speak. The narrator says, “His huge buzzard wings, dirty and half-plucked, were forever entangled in the mud” (269). The buzzard wings represent the possibility of freedom and the ability to escape. Pelayo and Elisenda’s initial impression of the old man’s wings as the filthy limbs of a scavenger rather than the glorious wings of an angel is a good example of how Marquez grounds even his most fantastic elements in the grunginess of daily life. The narrator says, “On the following day everyone knew that a flesh-and-blood angel was held captive in Pelayo’s house” (270). Pelayo and Elisenda wake the next morning to find a crowd of neighbors in the courtyard and a far more complicated situation on their hands. The townspeople have loss of faith with an “angel”. In the Christian tradition, angels are often represented as beautiful winged figures, and Marquez shows cultural symbolism because, ironically, the wings of the “angel” in the story convey only a sense of age and disease.
In addition, with the old man as art, the art being old before the artist. The author is saying that art lived a full exceptional life before setting it down on paper. Art is inevitably separate from the artist; art gives feeling, life and meaning to the characters of immortality. The narrator says, “Tossing him things to eat…as if he weren’t a supernatural creature but a [circus animal]” (270). The townspeople treat the old man like a circus animal, yet they toss him food and speculate about what should be done with him.The narrator says, “[Father Gonzaga] saw that [the “old man”] did not understand the language of the God or know how to greet him… (271). The humans try to see if his is an angel by testing him into speaking Latin language, but he fail. He doesn't speak to the humans, and they are repulsed by him.
However, the spider-woman's magical transformation is explainable and is something we might find in a fairy tale. The spider woman represents the fickleness with which many self-interested people approach their own faith. Despite the fact that she is at least as grotesque and fantastic as the “bird-man,” she is willing to communicate freely with her visitors, recounting her sad experience and inspiring sympathy for her fate. The “meaning” of her story is easy to grasp and teaches a clear moral lesson. The humans can accept that. The narrator says, “She was a frightful tarantula the size of a ram and with the head of a sad maiden” (272). The spider-woman is a deviation from the archetype of a minotaur, also a half-human creature. The spider-woman tale is simple and understandable, so the townspeople accept her as where they are confused about the weakened angel. Pelayo's wife complains of the old man nearness, making her life "a hell full of angels" in which she becomes "unhinged" in spite of her having grown rich at the angel's expense.
Lastly, the woman is turned and punished for the sin of disobeying her parents; the spider woman now has the body of an enormous spider and the head of a sad young woman. The clear moral of the woman’s story draws awkwardly the townspeople away from the old man. The centerpiece of a traveling carnival, the “woman who had been changed into a spider for disobeying her parents” (272), proves to be a more popular attraction than the old man, causing the villagers to lose interest in him and putting an end to Pelayo and Elisenda’s profitable courtyard business.
Clearly, magical realism manifested through two supernatural characters in the story shape the plot, setting and style of the story. Essentially, Marquez tries to tell the reader something or perhaps many something’s, about not only our own nature, but also about the way that we react to some of life's little miracles. The elements of fantasy are what make the story, and the confusion of real versus fantasy is the purpose. The questions and unresolved issues are left for the reader to "make sense" of themselves. The people must decide what happened and what is "real".
This is my third essay it is based on Symbolism, allegory and Magical Realism story.
I need to know, If I have run-on sentences and comma splices.