Monday, March 23, 2015


March 23, 2015

Questions for “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

1. How do the various characters respond to the events of the story? What does their response suggest about human nature and about organized society?
-They treat it as if it were an everyday experience. In society we generally have an aggressive response to things that are new or different. 

2. How does Garcia Marquez make an apparently fantastic event seem real and plausible?
-Marquez, uses common words to describe something that should be magical. For example, he describes the angel as a dirty old man with wings.

3. Who is the story’s narrator and what role or function does he or she serve?
-The purpose of the narrator is to have an unbiased picture of the story.

4. What elements of irony and humor does the story contain? What is their purpose?
-No one ever freaks out or is uncomfortable with the fact that there is an angel in their presence, the angel cannot speak english (his gibberish), and the family makes money off of him.

5. How can the story best be read and understood? as an allegory? as a folk tale or parable? symbolically? as fantasy? Does the story contain an identifiable theme?
-The theme is either about faith or acceptance.

6. In what sense is Garcia Marquez’s story “A Tale for Children”?
-It is teaching about tolerance.

7. List the characters in the story. Write one to two sentences on the defining characteristics of each one, providing at least one citation to illustrate your comments.
The old man with wings, Pelayo, Elisenda, Father Ganzaga, and the Spider-Lady.

8. Why do you think the story is called "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" rather than "An Angel"? Provide at least three citations to illustrate your argument. Be sure that your citations illustrate your argument: do not simply quote details that can be summarized. Use your textual evidence to make your 
argument.
-So the story remains unbiased.

9. How does the priest respond to the man with wings? What do you think his response symbolizes? Provide at least two citations to illustrate your argument. Be sure that your citations illustrate your argument: do not simply quote details that can be summarized. Use your textual evidence to make your argument.
-He was skeptical, because you would expect a priest to justify anything that deals with religion.

10. How do the villagers respond to the spider girl? What do you think their response symbolizes -- how does it relate to the rest of the story? Provide at least two citations to illustrate your argument.
-They shift their attention away from the old man with enormous wings, and towards the tarantula. They are not that religious.

11. When reading "A Very Old Man," think about what Garcia Marquez is saying about how people would react to the (second?) coming. Would people know that it happened, or would they pass it off as nothing? How do the people in the story react when the angel doesn't behave the way they would think an angel would behave? 
-We would extremely shocked, and people would either be very apocalyptic, or extremely confused.