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
The characters aren't surprised.
2. How does Garcia Marquez make an apparently fantastic event seem real
Garcia Marquez makes it believeable by making it dirty and ugly.
3. Who is the story’s narrator and what role or function does he or she
The narrator gives us an unbiased telling of the story.
4. What elements of irony and humor does the story contain? What is their
They make the man a side show attraction. Then the people throw meatballs at the spider.
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
The theme is about faith.
6. In what sense is Garcia Marquez’s story “A Tale for Children”?
The story has a lesson to teach us.
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.
You have an old man with wings, the spider girl, Pelayo, Elisenda, and father Gonzaga.
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.
In the story, the people didn't know if the man was an angle or not.
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 tests him and the old man doesn't answer him.
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.
When the spider girl shows up, the villagers forget the old man with wings and then they go to her.
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?
Some people could know that it happened depending on where their part is with society.