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Good and evil are intricate concepts of human nature. These words carry immense importance in the social life and human relations, and are vastly used as themes by numerous writers of literature materials. As an example, Gabriel Garcia Marques explores the general subject of human nature in his complex and intricate story “The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. In his narrative, little is left untouched in the concepts of good and evil as a theme. Using of literary elements, he does not only touch on patience, care, humility, and love to bring out the theme of good in the society, but he also touch on cruelty, brutality, churlishness greed, forgetfulness, jealousy, unthankful, and indifference to show the evil in the society.
From the start of the story to its end, Gabriel reveals the evil in the thinking and view of human beings (Vetlesen, 2005). People tend generally, to be ignorant and shun logic. From the story, the ignorance and shunning of logic has been brought out in numerous ways. First of all, when Pelayo’s neighbor sees the angel, she immediately assumes that he has come to hurt the baby, an assertion she had no evidence of. This shows irony because, the neighbor was said to be familiar with the ways of the angels, yet her prediction was so humanly. Another instance is when the priest calls the angel a fraud, simply because he could not speak Latin. This exhibits the common stupidity that leads to ill judgments by human beings, showing how much evil is harbored in their hearts.
Gabriel also displays a nasty trend of brutality and churlishness in the story (Smallwood, 2010). The characters in the story are apt to mistreat the angel just for his being different. He is caged in a chicken coop where in, he is treated like a circus animal. In the narrative, people are portrayed to ridicule the angel and torment him until they are jaded. While as Pelayo and Elisend could have used the angel for religious advantage, they choose to make money off him. Moreover, Pelayo and Elisenda are relentless to the angel, cannot even thank him after gaining a lot from him, instead. They even rejoiced when the angel finally flew away because, he took off with his burdens that he had bestowed on them. Using the angel, Gabriel has showed how humankind is cruel, forgetful and unthankful.
The angel and the story of the spider girl have been used in the narrative symbolically. Following the fact that the angel is compared to the spider girl, the author portrays how human kinds react to two different types of scenarios. The people are revealed to be nicer to the spider girl, whose story is a forthright moral (Reinholtz & Bloom, 2009). On the contrary, people mistreat the angel for his mystery, hard to construe and more sophisticated. The angel could have been used as a symbol to the complicated scenarios that people find difficulties in understanding. Normally, complex situations facing the people are criticized instead of solving and trying to understand. On the other hand, the spider girl represents a remarkably obvious story, easy to understand and, therefore, gains praises and popularity. Gabriel shows that evil or good in human nature is a cover-up attitude selfishly assumed by people.
Cleverly, Gabriel uses a literature device called magic realism which presents reality and fantasy in a common tone. Magic realism equalizes the original and the magical phenomenal such that it becomes hard to distinguish between the two. Magical realism in the story brings out a blurry distinction between the natural and the supernatural. For example, Pelayo does not see the difference between natural oddity, such as the crab attack, and the supernatural one, such as the angel. This is evidenced by his eventual act of securing his mansion from both angel and crabs (Smallwood, 2010. Clearly, use of magical realism shows how hard it can be for humankind to comprehend both good and evil.
Gabriel brings out some situations where upon the angel is being poked, nudged, and treated as an animal in the circus. The angel is tormented vehemently, but he never took part in his own act . He exhibited a supernatural virtue of patience. After briefly touching on the mistreatment, the angel obtained from the people, the author then explains the complete circumstances of the angel and the hordes. The use of simple language on the part of the angel and comparing with too much on the crowd’s reactions, he effectively shows the difference between angels and people.
The narrative by Gabriel approaches the theme of goodness by use of magical realism of the human with angel’s wings and extreme capacity of doing good by maintain peace, showing love and care, and humility (Smallwood, 2010). On the contrary, symbolism is used to depict the evil in the humankind, for example, as exhibited by the spider lady. Gabriel brings out some situations where upon the angel is being poked, nudged, and treated as an animal in the circus. The angel exhibited a supernatural virtue of patience (Smallwood, 2010). The author shows the difference between angels and people. The angel’s indifference is out of divine peace and humility, which obviously the crowd could not fathom. This though provoked the people to extra frustration, but instead of blighting the horde, he exercises more patience and calm. The author is like saying that real patience is surely a miracle all on its own (Smallwood, 2010).
The ability to do either good or evil is a reality in the human nature (Vetlesen, 2005). The narrative by Gabriel approaches the theme of goodness by use of magical realism of the human with angel’s wings and extreme capacity of doing good. On the contrary, by use of symbolism to depict the evil in the humankind, for example as exhibited by the spider lady representing the situations that human kind appreciates.