A very old man with enormous wings BY tsol 519059 A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings The short story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, represents a very interesting society and highlights key elements of the human nature. It is surprising how humans act the way they do. One wonders if it is selfishness or if indeed it is a fact that the greatest goal of any individual on this planet is to make himself happy, and to satisfy his or her own personal needs that he is a times rendered insensitive to the needs of other people, and does anything so as to achieve it.
It is possible that there re aspects of altruism; however, man gains satisfaction from their unselfish acts that contribute to their happiness. The reactions of all the members of the community to the events in the story reflect their inclinations as human beings, both good and bad. Pelayo lives with his family in the rural area. It happened that during one afternoon, he had a surprise in waiting as he came across a very old man, who had wings lying face down in his court yard in the mud. He got frightened at first and he had to go and get his wife so that she could help him get the meaning of the hole incident.
On arrival, they both stared at the old man with a muted stupor for a very long time. This behavior is typical of most human beings in a situation where someone is in need of help. Instead of being of assistance, they merely stare at the old man in bewilderment. At first, they were struck with fear of the unfamiliar. It is human nature that when people become exposed to an incident that is paranormal in nature, and that which conflicts their daily lives, they usually become afraid. In most cases, they grow violent and hostile. This is subsequently followed by a stage of uriosity.
As seen in the story, Pelayo and his wife observe the man quietly at a “safe” distance as they make attempts of trying to gather some any form of information from the phenomenon. After observing the weak angel, in need of help but uncivilized, the best assistance they could think at the moment is to call a neighbor who seemed to have more knowledge of similar situations. She was quick to assert that the old man has to be an “angel”. The reaction of the neighbor to the winged man was fuelled by faith. Her blind assumption emanated from what she had been aught to accept as true.
This is characteristic of most religious individuals as they usually interpret various events with a deeper and more meaningful significance. Thereafter, the angel became a captive in the house of Pelayo. This points out to the hostile nature of Pelayo towards the angel. Furthermore, he made sure that he watched him all day having a bailiffs club close by. Obviously, he is unsure of the angel and he decides to take no chances with him and therefore he resolves to imprison the poor angel. His hostility is further manifested when he literally drags im into a chicken house, and locks him with the chickens.
How inhuman that can be! This sort of behavior basically demonstrates the human nature. For the reason that the angel was unattractive, decrepit and old, he is tossed into a filthy chicken house, it is an ingrained human nature to Judge someone on the basis of his/her physical appearance. If the “angel” had borne the right physical attributes of an angel, all attractive, sophisticated and shining, Pelayo would have probably given him a stately reception and would not have accorded him the animalistic treatment. Apparently,
Later on, word spreads around that there was an angel at Pelayds residence, and people become quickly interested. Many of them had high expectations on the angel and they thought he was God sent, so that he could come and end all their worldly problems. However, such expectations were irrational as they were Just what they believed and the general hype created by the arrival of the angel. It is the nature of human beings to look for simple solutions and this angel seemed to be an answer to their prayers. As the story progresses, the people come to realize that the angel was not what they had hoped for.
This made them to grow hostile and they threw stones at him, plucked at the feathers of his wings and even burnt him with a hot iron. This type of reaction is very common amongst human beings in similar situations. They grew bored of the “useless” angel. Such behavior is common in everyday life too in particular reference to celebrities. As entertainers, they keep the masses entertained, but as soon as their songs or products becomes played out, people lose interest and start criticizing them. It is very hypocritical of human beings, but it is simply ingrained in their nature.