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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings


by Gabriel García Márquez

The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Timeline and Summary

  • The Very Old Man crash-lands into Elisenda and Pelayo's patio during a rainstorm.
  • He's locked into the chicken coop while they decide what to do with him.
  • Eventually, he becomes the town's main event, and people come from miles around to see him.
  • The priest tests the old man to see if he's an angel, but the old man just answers him in a language no one understands. Angel fail, obviously.
  • The old man ignores the people who come to see him, but that doesn't stop the crowds from gathering.
  • He's very unhappy in the chicken coop, and the onlookers practically torture him, trying to get him to eat mothballs, plucking his feathers, and throwing stones at him.
  • Even the chickens peck him.
  • One day the old man seems to be dead, so someone decides to stick him with a hot branding iron. He wakes up in a panic, hollers in his own language, and kicks up a lot of dust with his wings. This earns the respect and fear of the crowd.
  • Once the people get tired of looking at him, the old man is basically left to himself in the chicken coop.
  • He makes friends with Elisenda and Pelayo's son, in a sort of master-pet relationship.
  • When the old man's chicken coop collapses, he starts dragging himself all around the house in a seriously annoying way.
  • He starts to lose his vision and feathers, and Pelayo oh-so-kindly decides to let him sleep in the shed.
  • The old man has a fever and starts raging in Norwegian—maybe, but he survives.
  • He even gets better, and starts to secretly grow back his feathers and sing sailor songs.
  • Finally, one morning the angel takes a few test runs, then flies away out over the sea.