My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The story was incredibly short (9 pages with large font) so I finished most of it before I even boarded my morning train to work. The story involved a couple who found a very old man with enormous wings laying on the ground in their back yard. He seemed battered, tired, and old with wings that were falling apart and filled with parasites. Not quite sure what to do, the couple consulted a neighbor who told them it was an angel who had fallen from the sky and that it should be clubbed to death. The couple decided not to club it to death but instead they locked it in their chicken coop until they really figured out what to do with it. Townspeople soon got word that there was an angel in their chicken coop so they came by in masses to poke it, throw rocks at it, and mock it from afar. The angel seemed only to possess the virtue of patience because he hardly noticed the people who were poking him and mocking him. They said that he had wings more like a vulture than an angel and a priest came by to profess that he was indeed not an angel because he didn’t speak latin, the supposed language of God. Some people came looking for miracles but only received sub-par miracles such as a blind man who was not cured of his blindness but rather grew three new teeth instead.
At one point the couple thought about putting the old man with the enormous wings in a raft with three days worth of food and sending him out on the ocean. However, they realized that they could actually profit from him being in their chicken coop. Soon enough, the couple started charging admission to see the “angel”. With the money they earned they built a two story mansion but the stench of the chicken coop and the presence of the very old man with enormous wings was still infringing on their new life. At the end of the story, the angel seemed to have recovered what little strength he could and he flew away and that’s where the story ended.
What I took from this story was that the angel was indeed testing the couple. Would they clothe him because he was naked, would they feed him because he was hungry, and would they heal him because he was sick? The answer was to all three of those questions was no. They did not give him clothes, the townspeople tried to force feed him mothballs, and they did nothing to try and heal him. They simply tossed him in the chicken coop and were only concerned with making a profit off his existence. After the couple built their mansion the angel knew that the test was over, they failed, so he got up and flew away. I’m sure there are many other interpretations fo this story but that’s what I got out of it.
About the Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez:
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (Spanish pronunciation: [ɡaˈβɾjel ɡaɾˈsia ˈmaɾkes]; born March 6, 1927 ) is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, and is the earliest winner of this prize who is still alive. He pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics. In 1958, he married Mercedes Barcha; they have two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo. He started as a journalist, and has written many acclaimed non-fiction works and short stories, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the… READ MORE. (courtesy of Amazon.com)