A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The Spanish Revolution was declared in the old times. From the short story, ¡§A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings¡¨ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, symbolism is used to imply the living conditions during The Spanish Revolution. ¡§The crabs¡¨, ¡§the cripples¡¨ and the angle¡¦s ¡§flight¡¨ are used as the symbols to further explore on the symbol¡¦s effect, use and purpose.

At the beginning of the story, the parents are killing crabs that crawl up on the beach because they believe that the stench from the crabs caused their child¡¦s temperature. Moreover, during the period of The Spanish Revolution, the living condition was so impoverished that the people would not have the money for medicine, thereby the only thing they could do was to kill the crabs and hope for a miracle. Similarly, Marquez uses crabs as a symbol of disease and uses the parents as a symbol of the child¡¦s spirit.

The slow crawling motion of the crabs from the sea to the beach elaborates how the disease is spreading inside the child¡¦s body, which causes the temperature to go higher. Not only this support, the killing of crabs tells the child that he is fighting against his disease.

The ¡§cripples¡¨, in the middle of the fiction, pull the angel¡¦s feather to cover their defective parts as they think that the feathers are an all-purpose cure. However, the angel seems to be unusually patient. C0ompared to reality, Marquez uses the ¡§cripples¡¨ to symbolize the rich; the angel is to symbolize the people suffering poverty; the patience symbolizes the failure to the failure to seek for support. He uses this incident to imply the corruption by the wealthy people during the Spanish Revolution. The ¡§upper house¡¨ of the Spanish government extracts all the money from the ordinary...

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