A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings and A good Man is Hard to Find – Literary Analysis

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

            In this story, the author personified old man in the form of an Angel which signifies wisdom and integrity. Literary analysis on this story indicated that the theme did not focus on the real Angel but compares the wisdom of an old man with that of an Angel. In the society, the old men are characterized with wisdom and they are often consulted for advice by the younger people (Marquez, 1955). The author attempted to emphasize the importance of the old man in the society. However, not all the people in the society are in agreement with the wisdom of the old man. As a result, the advice sort from the old man can sometime create conflicts between the younger people and the old man. Gabriel presented how the young people in the society lack logic which is exhibited by both ignorance in their actions and words.

            It is ironical to find the old stuck in the mad with large unusable wings because they are considered to have accumulated a lot of experience over years. As a result, they are expected to provide guidance and resolve issues that affects the society. For instance, the author stated that he found the old man stuck in the mad and the old man possessed wings. Furthermore, the old man was speaking an unknown dialect (Marquez, 1955). No one in the society knew where the old man was coming from and who he was. The woman confirmed not knowing the old and she suspected to be an Angel, but yet they didn’t believe to be an Angel. No one believes he could actually be a supernatural being because he is found in such a decrepit state.   Pelayo and his wife Elisenda become wealthy from charging admission fees to see this angel, who they keep in a chicken coop for several years, mistreating him for many years (Marquez, 1955).  When the chicken coop eventually falls apart, they move him into a shed that’s adjacent to their new house.  Pelayo and his wife think the old man will die but he regains his strength and one day he flies off into the air as they watch him disappear over the horizon. Here, Marques indicated to have taken a negative perception regarding the nature of the human being by comparing both natural and supernatural beings. Marque’s assertion exhibited the negative perspective of the human being towards a strange creature or anything that appears to be totally different and not understood by people. We all wonder if angels are truly real or if it’s just something made up and Marquez’s story shows us that when we don’t understand something or someone and are afraid of it or them, society tends not to be so kind towards the unknown or misunderstood.

“A good man is hard to find”

            The main theme of this story revolves around the moral codes. The grandmother and Misfit differed because their moral codes they were living by influenced their perceptions, actions and decisions. The moral codes of the grandmother was conflicting with that of the Misfit because at the beginning of the story, Misfit moral code was presented to look as misguided, but at the end of the story, the author vividly demonstrated that grandmother’s moral code were in fact inconsistent and flimsy. The grandmother lived by the moral codes that she perceived would make people good by focusing on being a lady, for example, she put much efforts on the appearance and overlooking the substance (O’Connor, 1953). Her judgment and criticism deceived her family and made her to lack a fundamental awareness of the world around her. The author end the story by showing that grandmother was unable to pray when faced with difficult situation, yet she professed her love for Christian piety, hence questioned the divinity and power of Jesus.

The theme of the story surround the grandmother who attempted to convince Bailey her son and his wife to consider going to East Tennessee for family vacation instead of Florida. Her argument was based on a scenario in an article about Misfit a convict who escaped and headed towards Florida. The second argument was that the children have once visited Florida and there was need to go again there for the family vacation. John Wesley the elder grandson suggested that the grandmother should stay at home, but his sister, June Star resisted strongly that her grandmother would not stay at home. The grandmother dressed in clothes and hat that had flowers in it in order to be identified as a lady in case an accident occurred in their way.            

On their way, the family stopped to have their meal and snack at Red Sammy Butts’s restaurant known as Tower. The owner of the restaurant complained that people nowadays are untrustworthy because he allowed two men to bought gasoline on credit. The grandmother considered Red Sam as a good man, but his wife insisted that she does not trust any man including him. As the grandmother asked whether they have heard of Misfit, Red Sam says, “A good man is hard to find.” As they drive deep into the woods, grandmother let the cat to escape from the basket, thus startles Bailey who was driving the Car. They got into an accident, luckily they were not hurt. The passing car pulled on and three men carrying guns approached the car. One of the man was Misfit. In general, the author tries to show that we should not judge people’s actions before understanding the truth behind their actions.

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