Gabriel and Elisenda present their desire to make

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a writer from Colombia whose works
include short stories and novels.  He is known for his works of magical
realism, the style where ordinary situations and magical elements are
interwoven together.  This style of writing was influenced from events
that occurred during his childhood, especially the stories he heard from his
grandparents and the assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a liberal
presidential candidate.  As a result, Marquez sees politics as something
cruel and oppressive after witnessing the violence that erupted after the
assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.  This can be connected to his short
story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” where the id of the characters drives
them to take actions that are often looked down upon and can oppress the
affected party just like differences between liberals and conservatives can
affect a nation as a whole.

            The short story
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” follows the events after Pelayo and
Elisenda encounter an old man washed up from a sea who resembles an angel
because of his large wings.  These events can be seen differently through
the psychoanalytic lens, which focuses on the unconscious desires and defenses
of the human mind, which was built on the theories of Sigmund Freud.  This
lens focuses on mainly the id and superego of Pelayo and Elisenda presented in this
short story.  For example, Pelayo and Elisenda present their desire to
make money but also show pity towards the old man that many believed to be an
angel.  This is revealed when Elisenda “got the idea of fencing in the
yard and charging five cents admission to see the angel.”  Here, Elisenda
reveals her plan for the old man and how her id is causing her to abuse this
chance to make money.  However, at the
end of the short story, Elisenda’s superego causes her to feel pity for the old
man and she “let out a sigh of relief, for herself and for him” when he flies
away after healing.  In addition, the
curious visitors threw rocks at the old man to make him stand to satisfy their
desire to see him, but soon fell to their better judgement to not partake in
such vulgar actions.  Even “the most
merciful threw stones at him” and “many thought that his reaction had not been
one of rage but of pain, from then on they were careful not to annoy him.”
 They were desperate to see the angel like person, so they succumbed to
their id and performed actions often looked down upon, but soon fell to their
better judgement.  In essence, the id of
the unconscious mind causes people to perform vulgar actions and be blinded
from the truth because they are too focused on satisfying their own desires
while their superego corrects this behavior.

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there are different perspectives of “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” but
each can be brought back to the psychoanalytic lens.  For example, Ronald
E. McFarland mentions “what I want my students to do is think hard for
themselves and wonder who’s in charge” (McFarland 2002).  This portrays a
new way of viewing the situation by showing how one’s mind can be fooled by the
appearance of someone.  One may believe the old man is someone with little
to no power, but in actuality, the old man could be fooling everyone and could
have an ulterior purpose.  The id of the characters is blinding the truth
from them allowing the old man to continue with his plan.  In addition,
David Raney argues that “Once Pelayo recovers from his initial astonishment, he
concludes that the old man is a lonely castaway. The basis for his conclusion
is that the man speaks in a strong “sailor’s voice” (Raney 2014).  His
initial astonishment can be seen as fear, which causes him to take the simple
route and conclude the man is simply a sailor because of his voice.  The
fear he experiences clouds his judgement, superego, to see the truth of how the
old man is much different from an average human.  Finally, Genevieve
Slomski says “Once again the community fastens upon the differentness and
disregards the humanity of the individual, nor does the community alter its
attitude toward the identity of the old man” (Slomski 2004).  The curious
observers succumb to their id and mistreat the old man just so they can view
him while he’s standing.  Despite the
different perspectives, the psychological aspect of the characters is a driving
force behind their actions and a reason behind many of these perspectives.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez didn’t start writing the way he does for no particular
reason.  His writing style and beliefs were actually greatly influenced by
events in his past.  Firstly, his style of magical realism was greatly
influenced by his childhood and the time he spent with his grandparents.

 Instead of growing up with his parents, his first eight years were spent
being raised by his grandparents.  As a result, he learned a lot about
history, myths, and legends from his grandfather’s storytelling.  His
grandmother told him the most incredible tales while his grandfather told him
tales about the history of Colombia such as wars and fables (Piepke).

 This greatly influenced his writing because many of his works today
include magical situations like many myths and fables have.  However, when
“A liberal populist candidate for the Colombian presidency, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán,
was assassinated on April 9” (Williams), this opened a new way Marquez viewed
politics.  Since the assassination led to mass violence and a decade-long
civil war, Marquez was forced to move back to the coastal areas of Colombia.

 However, before he left, he came to a new understanding of politics and
believed it to be something oppressive and cruel after witnessing the violence
that erupted.

            This new view of politics greatly influenced his writing
because Jorge Eliécer Gaitán was a liberal hero and considered a savior.

 He was thought to be a savior for Colombia and bring about a new era of
change, but those with conservative views disliked this idea and someone took
action an assassinated him (Williams).  As a result, Marquez often
criticizes social issues and politics as a result of witnessing the violence
that erupted after the assassination and this can be seen through his writing.    Nowadays,
Marquez portrays his belief in politics in the form of magical stories that
express certain situations where the characters actions have adverse effects on
others.  However, instead of sorrowful
stories on human suffering, the joyful nature of the coast and the amazing
people there influenced Marquez to write more joyful and humorous pieces of
work with occasional mentions of suffering from isolation and solitude.

 This can also be seen in his short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous
Wings.” The story took place along the coast and incorporates humorous
situations such as the existence of a giant human spider.  However, it still includes human suffering,
which reflects upon Marquez’s beliefs.  For example, the id of Pelayo and
Elisenda cause them to take advantage of the old man.  This causes the old
man to suffer for the benefit of Pelayo and Elisenda since is he is constantly
a target for abuse by the many visitors.  Similarly, politics oppresses
the public and causes them to suffer because of disagreements between political
parties, which is shown by the mass violence that erupted after the
assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán.  Altogether, Marquez portrays magical
stories that portray his views on solitude and oppression as a result of the
experiences he has had over the years.

            In the end,
Marquez views politics as cruel and oppressive and this has influenced his
style of writing as seen in his short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous
Wings.”  Through the use of magical elements in seemingly logical
situations, Marquez portrays an enjoyable story while revealing his inner
beliefs.  Through the psychoanalytic lens, Marquez reveals the many
actions people will take to satisfy their desires, which reflects upon real
people and the many flaws they hold.