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A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Gabriel García Márquez
Characters

Elisenda

Characters Elisenda

Elisenda is a perfect match for her husband, Pelayo, being equally ordinary and concerned with practical matters. If anything, Elisenda is the more practical of the two because she suggests charging admission to see the “angel.” Despite the many material advantages the old man brings, Elisenda’s attitude toward him is primarily one of annoyance and exasperation. Once the old man’s usefulness as a roadside attraction dwindles, Elisenda sees him only as a nuisance. Indeed, the old man becomes so troublesome to her that she even refers to her new home—purchased with proceeds from exhibiting the old man—as a “hell full of angels.” The old man becomes so ordinary in Elisenda’s eyes that it isn’t until he finally flies away that she seems to see him for the wonder he is. Elisenda watches him fly away with wistfulness, as if finally realizing that something extraordinary has left her life forever.