This is a story by Gabriel García Márquez, who is a renowned author of short stories. In this particular story, the author presents one of the best examples of magical realism. Magical realism refers to the artistic use of fictional elements such as magic. This is usually done with the aim to help people understand and appreciate reality. The author has a unique way of making his piece of work believable. He has a talent of mixing religion, fantasy, science, and tragedy to render his work highly believable. The way characters in his book respond to the events depicted therein presents a totally new world for which the author writes. The couple in the story has been presented as one that treats the angel in a practical and less apprehensive way. In total this is a contradiction to how the curious hordes of people treat angels, who came to view the old man with wings. This is also different as compared to the priests’ behavior because they are engaged in endless correspondence with the Vatican thus portraying too much pontification (David 2011).
According to the story, an old man with wings arrives to a seaside town, or perhaps a village. The time period is not stated but one may assume that the events take place during the medieval times, especially, if the behavior or actions of the characters depicted in the story are taken into consideration. The local residents are treated to the presence of a unique-looking man in their neighborhood and their reaction is natural. Some of them treat the creature as an angel, whereas some decide to have fun at the creature’s expense. They engage in activities that make them enjoy the moment, and these include throwing breakfast leftovers and mothballs at the man. This depicted how the people would treat a lowly animal (Marquez 1955).
The old man with wings eventually departs and some people remain relieved. The hype that existed when the man was present calms down and life continues normally as it used to, before the creatures had visited the village. The story qualifies to be a children’s story as claimed by the author. There are however many sides to the story that may not limit the readership to children (David 2011). The story is full of villagers’ antics and attitudes. There are also many incidences in which both the good and the bad sides of the residents clearly manifest. As the reader reads the story, he/she sees that in general, there are many traits and incidences that can be applied to most human beings..
Typical stories have certain characteristic elements such as a rising or falling climax. It is also common to have a story with an action that is clearly felt. The story lacks such elements but it is an attention-involving narrative because the reader has to take note of the details in order to understand the whole plot. A clear understanding would enable the reader to pick out what he/she observes. For instance, we are told at one point that Pelavo and his wife Elisenda “were happy with fatigue.” This is after they had accumulated a lot of money from the charges they had made to those who were curious to see the old man with wings. Such details constitute the most interesting part of the story. They portray the common traits of man. These character traits are in most cases considered despicable.
The book is, no doubt, a piece of fictional work because the author has used fantasy elements. It is, however, important to note that the characters in the book have traits that parallel those of actual people in the society. One of such traits is greed, which is manifested by the way how the couple decided to convert the scenario into an opportunity to make money and become rich. The couple ended up having their rooms full of money after hordes of people had paid five cents to get the chance of viewing the ‘angel’. Other characters in the story targeted to have gains for the entire community. This is seen when residents suggested the idea of making the old man the mayor of the area. This trait was also seen when some suggested that he could serve them better as a five star general because he would ensure that all wars were won (Marquez 1955). Other residents also portrayed the insensitivity inherent with human beings. This was evident in many contexts. For example, the couple decided to hold the man captive in a chicken coop. This was then followed by using the man’s problem as a source of fun. Tossing fruit peelings to the man was not a gesture of care, but one of insensitivity to one’s misfortune (Shalt 2007). In fact, it is mentioned that the old man ignored the villagers and tried to make his stay in the chicken coop comfortable. As if this was not fun enough, the residents went ahead and burnt him using a hot piece of iron. The fact that they intentionally aimed at inducing pain to the old man is a clear indicator of how careless human beings can be (David 2011).
The story attempts to describe the imaginary things which many hope to witness in their lifetime. It is a good piece of work that makes one start wondering whether or not the imaginations people have in real world can actually come true one day.. It is indeed a very interesting story. People that like the fantasy genre will enjoy it. It is also a good book for those with the tendency of reflecting a lot on what they read.