Personal Response essay

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A fictional short story A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings is a palmary example of a unique style of Gabriel Garcia Marquez who has engaged the hearts of millions of readers around the world with his magical realism. The first thing that impressed me was the language with no dialogues, but only description and impersonal account of the events. The combination of real and fantastic elements is so ingenious that the story looks like a slice of life. However, it is remarkable how those words and images were used to create a mystery and riddle out of something absolutely prosaic.

From the first sight, there seems to be nothing extraordinary in the plot. Nevertheless, after I had finished reading the story, it was not so easy to put the book aside. He did not need a novel to get the message across to readers; a few pages leave the impression for days. There is a kind of aftertaste left. I still feel some understatement as it seems that the author decided to keep something quiet or I have not picked up the very core of the message. Marquez managed to dazzle me and turn my consciousness upside down.

I consider the author’s choice of the title to be a great triumph. I have not found any specific information concerning the personality of a very old man with enormous wings in the story. It seems that Marquez entrusted everybody with the right to define him in consonance with their intrinsic values. The author suggests non-emotionally, “Choose between an angel, a demon, a deformed man or just a cross-breed”.  I feel that this choice helps everybody to find the position and present a self-concept. 

The story also made me think about our human enjoyment of performances and affective spectacles irrespective of whether it is a miracle or dirt. It was also a shock for me to realize that ordinary people did not relate the appearance of the Angel to a miracle recovery of a child or money that dropped from the clouds. In my opinion, the description of human ingratitude and stupidity here is so artless and unbiased that it makes you recognize yourself and those around you. The point is not in the angel, it is in the attitude of people.

The story engenders arguments and doubts, catching the readers and making them think. I have realized that our seeing often depends on what we want to see. Appearances are deceitful, and not everybody can distinguish an angel in a dirty old man.  But even now, when I have already finished reading, my eyes go up involuntarily checking what if he will appear in the distance.

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a real magician and a stunner; the story The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World seems to be hypnotic, and I was enabled to hear the voices of women, smell the scents of the sea, and even feel the emotions of the characters. As for the plot of the story, it strikes as very simple. The body of a drowned man brought with the waves to the shore of a finishing village rocked that small long-standing and entrenched world.

The story turned my attention to the problem of incitement and motivation. The usual way of life often cradles, and we forget about the progress and development. Everybody needs some turn of a tide to pull together and get a new dream or an aim to achieve. To get a new life breathed into, one has either to experience something extraordinary, or meet a person who can inspire to avoid standstill and stagnation.

The story made me think about the astonishing power and charisma some people have. They not only exert all efforts to pursue their cherished dreams, but also empower those who are around them.  The dead body in Marquez’s story was nothing but a corpse beat up with water. However, it made dozens of villagers want more than just lingering out their lives. It provided a glimpse of reality to people who were alive, but used to be languid and blind to the future. Every nation needs the leaders who can inspire and lead the way.

Moreover, this piece of magical realism writing made me think about the significance of beauty in our lives. It can expand the boundaries of a usual world, open up a new reality and help people see everything in a new light. The grandeur of Esteban’s body showed the fishermen how narrow their dreams used to be. From now on, they are open to changes and ready to strife for a better life.

Several pages of Marquez’s prose have the same effect on the readers as the handsomest drowned man in the world had on the village community. Having read the story, I feel that I am equal to much more than I used to think.

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