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An Analysis of a Tale for Children

An Analysis of A Tale for Children Symbolism is often used to subtlely enhance a storys meaning by adding emphasis and details to the story line. However, Garcia-Marquez, in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, cloaks his tale for children in a dreamlike quality conveyed purely through symbolism. Clues to his intended meaning can be drawn from the old winged man whom the story revolves around, from the metamorphous of the family who take him in, and from outsiders reaction to this phenomenon.The old winged man symbolizes those that are different and perhaps alien. He also represents those who are unable to contribute in any traditional form. The story opens during a four day storm as Pelayo and his wife Elisenda are removing the crabs washed in by the storm and throwing them into the sea when they discover the old man with wings embedded in the earth of their courtyard. They are unsure of what to make of him. He appears to be very old and harmless, but taking no chances they secure him in the chicken coop. The old winged man shows no concern for the visitors who upon hearing news of his existence flock to see this freakish show. In fact, the old man is characterized throughout the story by his indifference toward the people and events that occur. When Father Gonzaga arrives to pass judgement on whether the old man is an angel, he finds him lying in a corner drying his open wings among the fruit peels and breakfast leftovers...thrown him(442). When the Father entered the coop and said good morning in Latin the old man alien to the impertinences of the world, ...only lifted his antiquarian eyes and murmured something in his dialect(442). The old mans only supernatural virtue seems to be that of patience but as the years pass, this virtue is re-labeled to be the patience of a dog (444). Even the miracles he is credited with lack merit and were more like mocking fun(444). The wings seem to allude that he is not long for this w...

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