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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: Elder Abuse

            With advances in technology, people are living longer and thriving, sometimes living into their 90's and 100's. While most people would think that this is a tremendous breakthrough, and some would not. Many treat the elderly as 'trash', and simply consider them as people who are out of their prime years. The abuse of the elderly is a serious predicament in today's society, and is growing precipitately. All people should have the right to live their lives without abuse, neglect, and being exploitations. In Garcia Marquez's story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," the treatment of the old man is a metaphor for the way many societies treat their elderly.
             In "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," the people in the story assume the old man has no usable skills whatsoever. People come only to see the old man in hopes that he will help them because they believe that the old man may be 'supernatural'. When Pelayo and Elisenda first come in contact with the angel, they simply leave him in the chicken coop, without even trying to see whether or not the old man has any abilities, they just assume he does not. Marquez is trying to show that like the old man with enormous wings, old people are treated as if they have no skills and are useless. In today's society, old people are considered useless and unproductive, as people tend to see them as people that are past their primes and need to be rid of.
             Old people are full of rich culture and history, yet only a few seem to know or even care about this. In "An Old Man with Enormous Wings", only a few attempt to listen to or interpret the old man, most just believe that he has nothing valuable to say. One sentence says, "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" (Marquez 407).

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