What Is The Golden Rule In A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Decent Essays
The Golden Rule
“Treat others the way you would like to be treated”, its the golden rule. Unfortuantly thats the opposite of what's going on in Gabriel Marquez’s short story,“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. Despite the possibility that the old man with enormous wings may be an angel he is treated as a circus animal. He is mentally and physical abused throughout the short story not only by the family, he is living with, but also the village and most surprisingly the church.
Pelayo and Elisenda, the family, the very old man with enormous wings is staying with are the first to disregard the golden rule. From the beginning they mistreated the angel by making him stay in a unsanitary envirment like the chicken coop. “..before going to bed,
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Sadly the village was no better. It’s sad what is done to those who are seen as different. The fact that some paid to see the angel only to throw food at him like an animal is inhumane,”...they found the whole neighborhood in front of the chicken coop having fun with the angel, without the slightest reverence, tossing things to eat through the openings in the wire as if weren’t a supernatural creature but a circus animal.”(364) It seemed like the angel was the only one who didn't take part of his own act. The disapointing part is that it was only getting worse, since the angel didn't seem to have any kind of reaction the village continued to mistreat him. Its twisted that those who actually belived the old man was an angel would continue to cause him pain. Some would pluck the angel wings or even throw rocks at the poor angel,” the cripples pulled out feathers to touch their defective parts with, and even the most merciful threw stones at him, trying to get him to rise so they could see him standing.”(365) One of the most appalling things that the village do is burn the angel just to see his reaction since he remained motionless for awhile,” The only time they succeeded in arousing him was when they burned his side with an iron for branding steers, for he had been motionless for so many hours that they thought he was dead.”(365) Even if he wasn't an angel he is still worthy of being treated with respect …show more content…
You would think that the church would have some sympothy towards the angel but instead the mistreatment continues. In this case it may not be physical but more of a mental abuse. As soon as Father Gonzaga noticed that the angel didnt speak the laguage of God he acused the angel of being the devil or being at least related to the devil. “He came out of the chicken coop and in a brief sermon warned the curious against the risks of being ingenuous. He reminded them that the devil had the bad habit of making use of carnival tricks in order to confuse the unwary. He argued that if wings were not the essential element in determining the difference between a hawk and an airplane, they were even less so in the recognition of angels.”(364) At this time Father Gonzaga’s decides to write a letter to his superiors in rome, who are in no hurry to discover the truth about the so-called angel, which is no help.Finally when they answer, instead of giving an answer of some insight they ask Father Gozaga to determine how many times the old man can fit on the head of a pin or suggest that the angel might just be a stranded Norweighn sailor.”...the mail from Rome showed no sense of urgency. They spent their time finding out if the prisoner had a navel, if his dialect had anything connection with Aramaic, how many times he could fit on the head of a pin, or whether he wasn’t jus a Norweigan with

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