One of those “read and respond” assignments for school. The short story was A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings and I had to answer the question How does the church respond to the very old man and why? I decided to do it without reading the story at all. I still haven’t gotten past the first paragraph of Gabriel’s story so I’m not sure how accurate this is.
In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, A Very Old man with Enormous Wings there is an old man with a large set of wings. In this story there is a part in which the church ‘responds ‘ in some form to this man. I found it difficult to extract the true meaning of the churches response, it was so deeply buried in layers of metaphorical and imagery rich writing. The general tone of the church’s response was very clear and dramatic – the message of inevitable death and futility of life was a well made, if unoriginal point. The underlying magical realism theme was very well presented. To me the church’s response had a very personal note, I could identify with both the old man and the church as they both made very good points.
The reason the church responded to the man was very forced – the story would have been lacking if it didn’t respond and it felt like the author was really forcing his writing at times. Realistically a church’s response would have been very short but the author dragged it out for a while. I think it could have been better if the church had more a reason to respond that wasn’t just to add to the story. Maybe the church could have been extremely lonely and needing somebody to talk to – I think that would have made the church’s response seem much more believable.
You can read the story here courtesy of salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html