What religion-focused works of literature, theater, music, painting, or sculpture have you read, heard, or seen?
One has read the short story entitled “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
How do they call a religion into question?
A religion was called into question through the need for validation of the identity of the old man, perceived by the local folks as an angel because of his wings. In the quest to determine the accuracy of the old man’s identity, through spread of word, the local people was able to capture the interest of the priest, Father Gonzaga; who wanted to confirm and verify the allegations for himself. Through observation and questioning, the priest suspected the old man to be an impostor. Therefore, he eventually warned the spectators to be more careful in believing that which could be deceving to their eyes. Religion was therefore affirmed to require exercising due process in confirming mysterious allegations. The final verdict needed validation from “the Supreme Pontiff in order to get the final verdict from the highest courts” (Marquez, n.d., par. 5). To validate whether the old man was an angel or an impostor, religious protocols in investigation and confirmation of authenticity had to be rigorously adhered to.
In what other ways do they deal with religion?
Through the short story, it was interesting to note that the mysterious identify of the very old man, perceived to be an angel for his wings, was compared to a woman, who was allegedly transformed into a spider . From the analogy, it could be perceived that mysterious events or personas, which could not be explained through natural means (observation, interrogation, or even through scientific evidence), were dealt with through comparing them with similar events, even in strange circumstances. The vision of the angel was too mystifying for the local folks and when the authenticity could not be validated, they simply conjured it to assume similar fate to the woman who apparently turned into a carnival attraction.
In addition, the author dealt with religion through the use of images and personas associated with faith: the angel, the Catholic priest, and mention of the Supreme Pontiff or the Pope. As such, through this short story, religious aspects emerged through these personas, who have been clearly associated with the Catholic faith.
Marquez, G. G. (n.d.). A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings: A Tale For Children . Retrieved from salvoblue.homestead.com: http://salvoblue.homestead.com/wings.html