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Written in the fiscal year 1955, the story can be placed under the genre magic realism. While this story was written for children, it has more themes that are suitable for adults. This is because it has various symbolisms and violent themes that only adults can comprehend. The story depicts the cruel nature of human beings and how a person can conquer the cruel experiences in life (Young & Hollaman 457).
The old man is the character at the center of the story. In the story, he is the character who endures the most things. He had to wait for three days before someone discovered what he was going through. In addition, he was trapped in the mud. Then he had to undergo various tests by the Priest to determine whether he was an angel or not. He had to endure being ridiculed by the people as they thought that he was not an angel (Young& Hollaman 457). However, this was not true because at the end we learn that he truly was an angel. He brought fortune into the house of Elisenda and Pelayo. Through the old man, the couple was able to construct a large house. The old man had to be locked in a coop as the couple thought that he was a nuisance. Elisenda is the character who had the opportunity to change but didn’t. For instance, she charged the villagers who wanted to see the old man. In addition, instead of giving good treatment to the old man, she mistreats him by locking him in a coop. She is a selfish woman, who only looks into the affairs of her family instead of the entire village. Instead of appreciating the material things that the old man has brought, she still considers him a nuisance. This is depicted when she calls the house they constructed ‘hell full of angels.’
The story commences with Elisenda and Pelayo, the protagonists of the story, encountering some very old man in their courtyard. The old man had huge wings attached to his body. Because the weather was stormy, the old man tries to get out of the mud in vain. It took three days for Enlisenda and Pelayo to get him out of the mud (Young& Hollaman 457). As the couple attempts to communicate with the man, they encounter challenges. This is because the man speaks in a different language. The language has never been identified before. As the couple struggles to understand the old man, a neighbor comes by and attempts to convince the couple that the old man may be an angel. The old man had come to take their child who was sick. Confused, Pelayo decided to lock the old man in a chicken coop over the night. In the morning, the priest of the village, father Gonzaga visited the home so that the dilemma could be sorted out. Father Gonzaga and the rest of the villagers conduct various tests to find out whether the old man is an angel or not. Convinced by many reasons, Father Gonziga proves that the old man cannot be an angel. For instance, the old man cannot understand Latin. Additionally, the old man had too many characteristics of a human being. In order to keep people away from her house, Elisenda decided to charge an entrance fee at the gate of their house. Consequently, the family became rich and ended up constructing a mansion. The couple decided to make the old man stay with them in their mansion. The rise of another freak makes the villagers lose interest of the old man. The freak was a woman who had been rebellious to her parents at a young age. This has made her turn into a tarantula. To make her finish the entire story, the villagers threw meatballs into her mouth. This becomes the only way that she can nourish herself. The old man’s health deteriorates till he gets to the point of dying (Young & Hollaman 458). Elisenda and Pelayo still kept the old man in the coop and treated him badly. After some time, the old man was able to get healthier and fly out of the coop.