Two stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

 

(A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings – Eyes of a Blue Dog)

By Carlos Roberto Garcia Contreras

 

 

 

These are two stories that gave Garcia Marquez a deserved place in literature.

 

‘A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings’ tells the story of a man who appears in the courtyard of a couple, Pelayo and Elisenda, who consider him as an angel because of his enourmous wings. The couple try to communicate with him but he seems not to speak the same language. The news of his arrival spreads out quickly among the inhabitants of the town, who start seeing him as a “miracle maker”. Because of having so many people coming to their house, Pelayo and Elisenda decide to charge an entrance fee to see the “angel”. They become rich and manage to buy a new big house. Not long after, because of the disability of the “angel” to perform miracles, people lose interest in the angel since “there arrived in the town the traveling show of the woman who had been changed into a spider for having disobeyed her parents”. This new freak tells her misfortune to the audience for a fee much lower than that of seeing the angel. When Pelayo and Elisenda decide to free the “angel” from the chicken coop they had kept him in, the “angel” starts recovering and as soon as he is able he flies away toward the horizon.

 

This is a story that was written in 1968 and published in Mexico. This story is written in the genre known as Magic Realism. Garcia Marquez manages to combine magic with the real world in a very authentic way. There are many aspects of humans that Marquez tries to point out in this story. For example, Faith: people think that the old man is an angel and so they come to ask him for miracles or help, however faith in the angel dissapears once the angel is not able to help them in the way they expected; Incredulity: which is, ironically, represented by father Gonzaga, who says that he will not consider the old man an angel if he did not fulfill the “requirements”, Ignorance: people think that anything which is not normal is a signal from God and so they cling to their beliefs, Disobedience: represented by the Spider-Woman, the spectacle of a woman who turned into a spider for disobeying her parents, a very moralizing story; and finally Opportunism: represented by Pelayo and Elisenda, who make a fortune out of the disgrace of the old man.

 

“Eyes of a Blue Dog” tells the story of two lovers who meet only during their sleep. The whole story takes place within the narrator’s dream  These lovers do not know each other, nor their names, since they have never met in the real world. “She”, as the woman is referred to, spends her real life looking for her lover, whose only traces are the words “eyes of a blue dog”, the words she remembers were the first her lover said to her. She goes telling every man these same words to see if one recognizes them ; she even writes them everywhere to the point that some people think she is crazy. The problem of the guy, in this case the narrator,  is that when he wakes up he can not remember what those words are. There is also another problem: they cannot touch each other in their sleep because of their fear of waking up and not being able to meet again.

 

This fictional story was written in 1950. In his text, Marquez tried to represent the frustration of a couple who cannot be together despite the love for each other, “a situation that García Márquez uses to represent the loneliness of the unconscious mind and its desperate longings” (http://www.enotes.com/eyes-blue).

 

In the dream world everything is possible, however Garcia Marquez did not choose to use fantastic creatures to narrate “Eyes of a Blue Dog”; like that he is able to get the audience closer to the text and the whole meaning of it. We should also consider that the story is narrated in first person. In ‘A Very Old Man’, Marquez uses fantastic creatures to make us aware of how illogical our daily lives can be. He tells the story as an omniscient narrator probably for us to know what different people think of and how they take the situations that arise in the story, so we can identify with one, or many of them.

 

 

WORKS CITED

 

Enotes. (2007). Eyes of a blue dog. Consultated November 19,

2007 from . http://www.enotes.com/eyes-blue

 

Cara y Cruz. (1997). A Proposito de Gabriel Garcia Marquez y su Obra. Bogota.

Graficsa Ltda.

 

Gene. H. (1990). García Márquez : The Man and His Work. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press

 

Wikipedia. (2007). A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. Consultated November 19,

2007 from.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Very_Old_Man_with_Enormous_Wings