We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Advertisement