A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
Foreignness & 'The Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
They looked at him so long and so closely that Pelayo and Elisenda very soon overcame their surprise and in the end found him familiar. Then they dared speak to him, and he answered in an incomprehensible dialect with a strong sailor's voice. (2)
So close—Pelayo and Elisenda are just about to accept the angel when he speaks. And, unfortunately for him, it's not Spanish. If he'd just invested in some Rosetta Stone lessons, maybe Pelayo and Elisenda would have been a lot kinder to him.
That was how they skipped over the inconvenience of the wings and quite intelligently concluded that he was a lonely castaway from some foreign ship wrecked by the storm. (2)
Languages define communities. The way that the angel speaks is more important than the fact that he has wings for explaining where he comes from. Don't believe us? Think about the way your parents have to use UrbanDictionary.com to figure out what your community is talking about.
Then they felt magnanimous and decided to put the angel on a raft with fresh water and provisions for three days and leave him to his fate on the high seas. (4)
Because the angel comes from elsewhere, the most sensible solution that Pelayo and Elisenda can come up with is just setting him loose on the seas. Seriously, this is the best they can do.