A very old man with enormous wings summary and exercise | Class 12 English Notes | NEB


A very old man with enormous wings summary and exercise | Class 12 English Notes | NEB

Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a.How Does The Narrator describe the weather and its effects in the exposition of the story?

Ans. The narrator describes that, it was a rainy season and raining continuously for three days and due to the rain many crabs were dead inside the home and spreading a bad smell through the house.

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b.Describe the strange old man as Palayo and his wife first encounter within their courtyard.

Ans. Pelayo and his wife encountered an old man in their courtyard lying face down in     the mud, very weak, impeded by his enormous wings, few fated hairs on his bald skull and very few teeth in his mouth.

c.Why did Pelayo and Elisenda imprison the old man in the chicken coop?

Ans. Their neighbors were suggesting to club him to death but they didn't want to kill him. So, the couple imprisoned the old man in the chicken coop.

d.Why was Father Gonzaga not sure about the old man being a celestial     messenger?

Ans. Father Gonzage was not sure about the old being celestial messenger because the old man was unable to understand the language of God, he has unbearable smell of the outdoors, the back side of his wings was strewn with parasites and his main feathers had been mistreated by terrestial winds and there was nothing to prove him as the dignity of angels.

e.Many people gathered at Palayo's house to see the strange old man. Why do you think the crowd assembled to see him? 

Ans. Many people gathered at paloyo's house to see the strong old man because he has enormous wings and seems as a celestial messenger.

f.Some miracles happened while the crowd gathers to see the strange man.

What are these miracles?

Ans. While the crowd gathers to see the strange man, there happened some miracles like:

  1. The blind man who didn't recover his slight but grew three new teeth.
  2. The paralytic who didn't get to walk but almost won the collery.
  3. Lepers who sores sprouted sunflowers.

g.State the irritating things that the people did with the strange old man.

Ans. People were having fun and irritating the strong old man, without the slightest reverence, tossing him things to eat through the opening in the wire as it a circuls animal.

h.How and why was the woman changed into a spider?

Ans. The woman was changed into the tarantula (Poisonous spider) with the size of ram and head of maiden for having disobeyed her parents. While she was coming back through the woods after having danced all night without parents permission, a fearful thunderclap rent the sky in two and through the crack came the lightening bolt of brimstone that changed her into a spider.

i.Describe how Elisenda saw the strange man flying over the houses.

Ans. Elisenda saw the stronge man flying over the houses holding himself up in somw way with the risky flappinf of a senile vulture. She kept watching him until it was no longer possible for her to see him.

Reference to the context

a. The arrival of a strange old man at Palayo's courtyard arouses many suspicions and explanations. Explain how the neighbor woman, Father Gonzaga and the doctor speak of the strange man. Why do you think these three people give three different kinds of interpretations?

Ans. Palayo and his wife encountered an old man in their rear courtyard lying face down in the mud, very weak and impeded by his enormous wings. They tried to speak to him, and he answered in incomprehensible dialect. After seeing his different body structure and being unable to understand his language, their arouse many suspicious. Many people tried to know him and make different judgement towards the old strange man.

Among them, a neighbor woman says that old man is an angle and she tells them that it was on its way for the sick child but he was knocked down by the rain. She is the first to suggest that the old man is a crippled angle. She tells pelayo to club the old man to death to prevent him taking the baby to heaven. Similarly, the father Gonzaga tells the people that the old man is probably not an angel because he's shabby and doesn't speak latin; the language of god but rather an imposter. he decides to ask him bishop for guidance. After examining the man with wings, the doctor decides it is impossible such a creature is even alive. Here, different people give kinds of interpretations I think, all the people make the judgment about the old man according to their knowledge and wisdom power.

b.This story belongs to the genre of 'magical realism', a genre perfected by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in his novels and short stories. Magical realism is a narrative technique in which the story-teller narrates the common place things with magical color and the events look both magical and real at the same time. Collect five magic realist happenings from the story and argue why they seem magical to you.

Ans. "A very old man with enormous wings" is a short story where the narrator has used magical realism technique to narrate the story. He uses both natural and divine imagery in his descriptions of place, character, and events in a short story.

From the beginning of the story, the narrator's style comes through in his unusual,almost fairy tale-like description of the restless rain. ' The world had been sad since Tuesday." There is mingling at the fantastic and ordinary in all the descriptions, including the swarms of crabs that invade pelayo and Elisenda's home and the muddy sand of beach that in the rainy grayness looks " like povedered light". It is in this strange, highly textured, dreamlike setting that the old winged man appears a living myth, who is nevertheless covered in lice and dressed in rags. The narrator has also included some miracles, like the slindman who didn't recover his sight but grew three new teeth, or a paralytic who didn't get to walk but almost won the lottery, and the leper whose sores sprouted sunflowers. The author introduce the episode of a woman who became a spider for having disobeyed her parents. this episode at once shifts people's concentration from the strange old man to the spider woman. The story behind the spider woman is unbelievable but the human attraction towards " truth" and " lesson" reflects human nature.

c.The author introduces the episode of a woman who became a spider for having disobeyed her parents. This episode at once shifts people's concentration from the strange old man to the spider woman. What do you think is the purpose of the author to bring this shift in the story? 

Ans. Although he 'angle' was introduced in the story in more mysterious way, the concentration of people from the old man to the spider woman. The crowd liked the morality tale behind the spider girt. The woman was changed into the tarantula with the head of Maiden for having disobeyed her pasents and the towns people preferred the " Human truth" and ' Fearful lesson". Also the spider girl is part of a traveling carnival. Tickets to see her are cheaper and she entertains the crowd where as the shy angle recoiled at the attention. 

The narrator uses the spider woman to symbolize the human attraction to ' truth' and ' lesson' no matter how unbelievable. By having her draw away the old man's crowds, he implies humans are repelled by ambiguity, whether in symbols stories or real life. The story shows human nature-related curiosity, greed and cruelty.

d. The story deals with the common people's gullibility. How do Palayo and his wife take advantage of common people's whim?

Ans. In the short story " A Old Man with Enormous Wings" narrator reveals some of his ideas of human nature. he shows how pessimistic humanity can be through an experience with a fallen angel. He has figured out the human greed and selfishness. When the people knew about the angle, countless people arrive there to see him. At first playo and his wife were going to put the angle on a raft and free him from their chicken coop prison. Later they knew that people would come from everywhere to see the fallen angel that they held captive in their courtyard. By keeping this angle locked up in the chicken coop, they were profiting off of his misery. With the money they saved, they built a two-story mansion with balconies and gardens an high netting so that crabs wouldn't get in during winter.

Reference beyond the text

a. An irresistible crowd queues at Palayo's house for many days simply to look at the strange old man. Narrate an episode from your experience or from another story where people assemble in crowds, not for any noble cause.

Ans. An irresistible crowd queue at Palayo's house for many days simply to look at the strange old man. A similar scenario can be found in Nissim Ezekiel's poem, "Night of the scorpion". The poem is about a specific incident. When it had been raining steadily for 10 hours and a scorpion had gotten into their house and stung his mother before. Fleeing into the rain. All of the surrounding farmers gathered like swarms of bees. They uttered God's names to reduce the scorpion's movement. They started looking for it with lights and lanterns. They were unable to locate the scorpion. They saw that the poison went through his mother's veins with the scorpion's motions. They claimed that it would wash away her sins from her previous birth and lessen the calamities of her next birth. Poison, they declared, would cleanse here physical and spiritual ambition. His mother was in distress as they spoke. His father was national septic. He had been experimenting with powders, plants and mixes. He even poured some paraffin on the bitten toe and ignited a flame to it. However, the pain vanished after 24 hours. His mother thanked god that the scorpion chose her and saved her children from being stung.

b. The taste of children is different from grown-ups. What are the elements in the story that make 'The Old Man with Enormous Wings' a children's story?

Ans. Children's have different taste of reading. Fable, fairy tale, modern fairy ale, myth, folktale, legend, Trickster tale, Tall tale etc. are the children book genres. as the children grown-ups, the taste changes. The short story " The Old Man with Enormous Wings" belongs to genre of modern fairy tale.

In a modern fairy tale, the story involves magic, a character who is evil, princesses, angles, talking animal, witches or goblins and with a happy endings. This genre is usually set in the city. Rather than " Once upon a time", the story is about trart Tuesday's fantastic events. Rather than in a far off place, its around the corner. A story " A very old man with Enormous Wings" is considered by him to be "A Tale for children". To take this consideration and read through the story, a few people aspects of a children's story are apparent. The concept of an angle living on earth is a magical idea that might spark excitement for a young child. Even if he or she do not understand this idea, it is still fascinating to think of a man, may be one like their grandfather, with huge wings, that can fly. However the appeal however the appeal to children is only the idea of the man with wings, not his situation itself. Towards the middle of the story, unique woman arrives in the town, to be put on display for her strange qualities. She has been transformed into a spiderfor having disobeyed her parent's which may cause little kids to wonder what would happen if they disobeyed their parents. This is the children's moral of the story, which is completely aside from what an adult would take away from it. Also the flight at the end of the story is the other aspect that would appeal to young minds. Children's have such vivid imagination, that the idea of flying through the sky will be exciting to them. It also reflects about the happy ending. The narrator appeal to be able to call it "A tale for Children."


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