Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old man with Enormous Wings,” was quite a confusing read for me and many students. However, Tom Faulkner did a great job of opening up my mind and helped me understand the story in his article, “An Overview of ‘A Very Old man with Enormous Wings. ’” Tom Faulkner main point was most helpful to me when he says that Marquez uses both Magic and realism. Here is a quote from the story backing up Faulkner’s argument: “He awoke with a start, ranting in his hermetic language and with tears in his eyes, and he flapped his wings a couple of times, which brought on a whirlwind of chicken dung and lunar dust…” (419).
Readers who have the mindset of a realistic story such as me, were very confused about the lunar dust. The same goes with the readers who read this as a fairy tale and were frustrated and dazed about the chicken dung. There is too much logic for it to be a fairy tale. For example, in the story, the old man is only even present because of some bad weather (418). However, the story is also too magical because this old man has wings!
Faulkner states in his article, “ …the author suggests that both “ways of knowing” are valid, perhaps even necessary to achieving a balanced understanding. ” This is what helped me the best because magic realism gives me much more of an open mind then if either were alone. I am actually able to understand the story’s craziness. I generally agreed with Tom Faulkner when he mentions the “acceptance factor” Marquez presents to us. Faulkner says in his article, “The old man remains a stubborn, intriguing mystery, both magical and ordinary, impossible to decipher but undeniably there. Faulkner states the characters in the story see these bizarre events as the norm of their culture.
For example, no one in the story even questions the man’s disease where he can’t sleep because he is hearing the stars (419). The way Marquez makes it seem like a norm for all this to happen, forces the reader to accept these strange events. At first for me, I would think a lot of the events, thoughts, and ideas were used metaphorically but Faulkner overview helped me understand that these things were all actually literal.