An analysis of a very old man with enormous wings


Gabriel García Marquéz’s short story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings  (Links to an external site.)is a well-known work of magic realism that makes some pretty bold statements about human nature.  Look up magic realism to have a better understanding why García Marquéz would use this genre.

So far, we’ve covered narration, description, definition, and comparison and contrast as organizational patterns.Write an analysis  in a min. 875 words of this short story, using a combination of these patterns to analyze what García Marquéz is telling us about human nature.

Here are some questions to guide you, if you are stuck:

  1. Can this story be classified as a fairy tale, myth or an allegory? Which characteristics make you think this? 
  2. Compare/contrast this story with the genres of fairy tale, myth or an allegory.
  3. In western culture, what are some ways we define angels? Is the old man an angel?
  4. Look at the variety of descriptions Garcia Marquez uses throughout this very short story. What purpose does such description serve?

Be sure to start with a strong thesis, and support your thesis with specific, quoted examples from the story.  Feel free to include any research you have done on magic realism.

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