This essay is a personal examination of what it means to be a human being. The biblical aspect of humans has also been analyzed when different concepts from various authors are compared. A human being, according to Garcia Marquez, has “an intolerable odor of the outdoors, the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites, his main feathers had been mistreated by earthly winds, and nothing about him measured up to the proud integrity of angels” (2).
Humans, according to Muller, have a distinct structure that separates them. Humans, in particular, have an appealing structure that distinguishes them from other organisms (50). Humans also have a certain nature that is determined by different events of life. In other words, humans deprive themselves health and rest. Their desire exceeds the moderation, and yet, when they complete their goals, the dream disappears and filled with breathless horror and hatred in their hearts (Muller 59).
On the other hand, experts allege that “by nature a human being is a creature that has allowed technology to affect the way of writing and reading to increase knowledge base” (Carr 11). Nonetheless, human beings have an obsolete brain that requires not only a faster processor but also a larger hard drive. In other words, the human brain is infinitely malleable. Subsequently, because of technology, humans have become lazy, making them less studious, an aspect that weakens the mind. Human nature technology has also undermined religious authority, demeaning scholars, and increased distribution of debauchery as well as sedition. Generally, technology has made humans machines such that a number of their character has become a device. This is because they depend on machines particularly computers to “mediate their comprehension of the world” (Carr 13).
Human beings are also seen as creatures with a fallen nature and sin of Christianity. Much as individual consciousness is acquired during a lifetime, “the components of the collective conscious are consistent standards from the beginning” (Carr 15). Humans are like animals “since they have a shadow that can be enlarged to infer the elements of individual consciousness” (Jung 1). However, the only exception to this aphorism of thought is the rare cases where the positive attributes of the individuality are stifled, and the ego, as a result, plays a profoundly negative or disparaging role. The shadow is an ethical anathema that contests the ego’s temperament. To this effect, one can only become cognizant of the problem through a moral undertaking. Moreover, to become aware of any social problem includes realizing the downside of the individuality as present and real.
From the onset, it appears like the natural begins to confront the supernatural in the “Very Old Man”. This South African narrative was published in 1955. A close review of the magical and realistic attributes of the narrative confirms that the theoretical phrase of the mid-twentieth century is applicable in this literary work. In the above definition elements of autonomy and freedom are missing. Another thing that is missing is the male and female. According to De Beauvoir, a human being is not only autonomous but also free (15).
In addition, De Beauvoir alleges that human refers to female and male, however, a woman is not seen an independent human creature. This is because she cannot think for herself without the help of male being. Again, the female is what male decrees, therefore she is known as “the sex”, which implies that she is simply a sexual being (3). Male creatures have demonstrated their fulfillment in feeling that they are the creation of God. In the morning, for instance, the Jews people thank God stating how blessed they are for being human while women bless God thanking Him for creating them based on His will. Basically, human are free creatures and not enslaved (De Beauvoir 9).
In the end, I think that Garcia Marquez uses various elements borrowed from the simple life which are then corroborated with fantasy and mystic. It is at this point it is easy to insinuate just how magical realism treats the magical as ordinary an aspect that invites us to examine the ordinary as enchanted. Irrespective of the connections to folklores and narratives, the storyline by Garcia Marquez preclude the green ethical perceptions evident in those narrative variations. As such, the magical realism in the “Very Old Man” brings to the fore intricate and challenging world free from ethical lessons or aphorisms. At some point, this narrative can be understood from various fronts. While Garcia Marquez defines it as a storyline of a lost angel in the city, it appears more like a children’s story. And yet, the author is influenced by the naiveté and simplicity of mythology and legends from rural South America. Unlike using the storyline attributes in a straight way, I think the author chooses to put more emphasis on their sincerity to interpretation. In short, I am convinced that story implores the question of how human beings understand of their surroundings by way of folklores and such narratives.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, vol. 107, no. 2, 2008, pp. 1-13.
De Beauvoir, Simone. “Woman as Other.” Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings, edited by Charles Lemert, Westview Press, 2004, pp. 1-16.
Jung, Carl Gustav. Aspects of the Feminine. Vol. 6. Translated by Gerhard Adler and R. F.C. Hull, Princeton University Press, 1983.
Garcia Marquez, Gabriel. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings: A Tale for Children.” Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Fictions, edited by Joseph F. Trimmer and Wade C. Jennings, Wadsworth Publishing, 1997, p. 2.
Muller, Herbert J. The Children of Frankenstein; A Primer on Mode Technology and Human Values. Indiana University Press, 1971.