A Crab with Wings

A Critical Reflection on How the Crab Looks at the Story, in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”, and how significant the wings are to the story.

While creating this graphic I focused on what caught my attention most about the story. The first thing that was mentioned was the killing of all the crabs, then how horrible they smelled after, and then throwing them into the sea because of the overload. I wanted people to notice that it was not just the man that smelled bad, how his image was hideous, and his wings were damaged and worn. There was no one that took the time to care about him or who he was until Pelayo saw him. Also, no one took time to care about the crabs until they were all dead and meaningless. Although the crabs had little impact on the story they had a huge impact on the way I viewed the plot as a whole.

I wanted to focus on another story as well. I wanted to incorporate “ The Veil” style of artwork. I use the dark outline and shading as well as the sad faces used in the story. The girls were not treated fairly just like the man with the wings, and the crabs. I wanted the image to sophisticated; I wanted the wings to be the main image because that is what defines the story. The man was made fun of, picked on, beaten because of his wings. I wanted to give the crab a chance to survive in the world; I wanted to give him a new beginning even though it may take time to get over the horrific life he has been through. Whether you are a crab or a man with wings you should be treated the same as everyone else.

“On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench” (380). The crabs were of no use just like the very old man with enormous wings. He had no purpose in the world, until Pelayo found him and believed he was there to help their son. He began to make money off of him, just like others make money off of crabs by killing and eating them. The crabs have a great impact on the story because it shows how sometimes people use things to get what they want. Pelayo used the old man to make money to buy nice things. The man had no strength and no place to go so he had to stay with Pelayo and do what he said. We see at the end of the story he gets enough strength and flies away. In life we can learn that we may be down for a while but if we have faith and courage that we will be something bigger that was is pushing us down we can succeed. That is why I gave the crab wings, because one day he will gain enough strength to fly away from all his worries just like the old man did.

Work Cited

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. 380-384. Print



Two stories of love and regret

Stories of love and way that love can convey many meanings. Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants, “ and Russell Banks, “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat”, show a story of love and also show how a related story may have many similarities but also many differences as well. Through pregnancy and abortion we see many similarities in the stories without actually saying the words, through the dialogue we comprehend that is what they are talking about. Although, how the characters feel towards what is going on and how they treat and love one another is extremely different. Starting with the man in Hemingway’s story he does not want the woman to keep the child, and wants her to have the operation. Then we see that in Bank’s story the man wants the woman to keep the child, and the woman is the one that wants to have the operation. Two different perspectives, although many similarities within the stories at the same time.

Hemingway’s story begins with informational background, the scenery, and describing the couple at an Ebro train station. We have an American and a girl named Jig, who are waiting for the express from Barcelone, which would come in forty minutes. The couple stopped and improvised in the shade on a very hot day by drinking beer, lots and lots of beer. The couple then becomes tipsy and starts talking and describing something unordinary, “the mountains looked like white elephants”(417), but then she says they do not really look like white elephants its just the coloring of their skin through the trees, but then begins to proceeded drinking some more.

The couple seems to have it all together and be happy with one another until the man brings up the talk about the “simple operation”(417); he then begins to say that it isn’t really an operation at all. Jig, the one that hasn’t quit talking since they got there, did not say anything. The man tried to convince here that everything would be fine afterward and nothing had bothered them and made them unhappy since this. This is when in the story you see a plot and character change.

We now can identify that this women is pregnant and the operation they are talking about is an abortion even though they never say either word during the story. We see that the women is not to sure about it, she is asking questions like, “you think then we’ll be all right and be happy”, he then says that he knows they will and that she has nothing to worry about because lots of people have done it. Then you see that the man tries to flip the switch and says, “If you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.”(418). He does not want her to think he is pushing it but in the end he wants her to know that she has to do it for everything to be all right and she must do it because its “perfectly simple”. He repeats this line many times during the story. We see where his true feelings come out when he says, “I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want any one else. And I know it’s perfectly simple” (419). Without saying it directly we see that he does not want any one else, meaning he does not want the baby. Everything seems “perfectly simple” when saying it but when it comes to the action behind the words it is a different story.

We see how much this man has an impact on Jig’s life and is influencing her in some way that maybe if she did not have him in the picture, that she would choose a different route. The man makes it extremely clear that he does not want the child when he says, “But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want any one else” (419), making it obvious that for them to stay happy and have everything, and go everywhere she has to have the operation. In the end, we see that Jig is tired and fed up of talking about the whole situation and threatens to scream if he does not stop talking. The story ends with Jig saying that there is nothing wrong with her and she is fine. The audience does not ever figure out if she is going to have the operation or not leaving the audience with no answer to the question at all.

Bank’s story begins with the an overview of the background, and scenery of where the story is taking place from and we are also informed that it is August 3rd and the heat wave was overpassing the lake at the trailer park. We are given description of everyone living in the trailer park and what they do each morning leading up till they were either leaving or relaxing at their trailer. Then we are introduced to a young, tall, slender, muscular black man. He had a “fishing rod in one hand and a tackle box in the other”(63), he was planning on fishing that day but an older man told him the fish would not bite because it was so hot, but the young man did not care he just wanted to relax and get out of the heat for awhile. He was also waiting on the young girl to come with him who was actually around twenty or twenty-one who had a towel and magazine in one hand and tanning lotion in the other.

They begin to examine the scenery and explain every detail of what they saw until the girl says, “I’m already putting on weight”(64), the man said it does not work like that, he said that she was just eating to much. She told him that she had told her mother but nothing happened, because she told her that she loved him very much. The man began to row faster and faster like he was trying to escape what he had just heard. They got to an island where the shallow water was described as huge coal-colored hippos. The girl finally sat up and told the man that her mother was a lot better than her father would have been, he “Hated niggers”(64). Then we see that the girl has a different view than the man does, the man was unsure whether the girl was his enemy or not and that they viewed and wanted the same thing.

The girl does not ask but tells the man that she is going to do it, and her mother is going with her. Through this dialogue we can now figure out that the women is pregnant and she is going to have an abortion even though those exact words are never said. The man hates the whole thing, but the girl tells him that afterwards it will be all right just like it was before, and she promises it to him. Then he said you cant promise that no one can and that it will not be all right it will be lousy. He wants her to do nothing about it, he wants her to have the baby but that is not what the girl wants. They have talked about it a million times and she is not going to change her mind at this point. Her appointment is at three-thirty and nothing is going to stop her. At this point we see that the man has given up, he tells her that he will make sure she gets back on time so it can happen. We can tell the man becomes angry, in rage, and careless about what is going on and ends up poking his finger on something in his tackle box and begins to bleed. After he finally gets the plug from the water he insist they go because he doesn’t like fishing anyway when the fish are not feeding. They begin to leave and the man tells the girl he wishes he could leave her there; he does not want her to proceed with this at all. He makes that very clear to her but she is not buying it. They get back and it seems like the whole trailer park stops and watches the two go their separate ways and the story ends. Giving us the impression that the girl will have the operation done but never tells us if she does or not.

These stories have many differences but the similarities out weighing them. The main focus of these stories is to not let the audience know what they are talking about but give every hint and idea. Never once do they say abortion or pregnancy, but it is implied through the dialogue and what is going on. Both couples fight about the situation but quickly change the subject, implying that everything will be all right if they do not talk about it. Also, the woman in Bank’s story says, “I’ll do it and then everything will be fine” (418), and then the woman in Hemingway’s story says, “It’ll be all right afterwards. I promise. It’ll be just like it was” (65). They both tell the man they will be fine afterwards, letting them know that they have to go on because if not everything will change and not for the good. Both of the stories give images of animals, in Hemingway’s story; he uses “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.”(417), and in Bank’s story when they arrive at the island they describe the rocks as, “backs of huge coal-colored hippos”(64). Both not meaning anything but have some sort of similarity describing big animals and the color they have to them. One of the main similarities in these stories they both talk a lot about the scenery and what is going on around the couples. They both in the mist of all these things happening but are focused in on their lives and that is going on. Both the couples seem to be moving at a fast pace, while one is settled in a rowboat, and he other at a train station. Implying that either way their lives will keep moving whether they choose to have the operation or not. Also, it seems they have many distractions in their life, with the beer and also on the rowboat not running aground. Sometimes the characters pay attention to what is going on around them more than worrying about the problem they are facing. In the end, both stories leave us with some sort of emptiness to the reading. Bank’s story ending with watching, “the girl, carrying her yellow towel, magazine, and bottle of tanning lotion, step carefully out of the boat and walk to where she lived with her mother” (67). Hemingway’s story ending with the woman saying ”I feel fine, there’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine” (419). Not giving us a clear answer to what the couple plans on doing, whether they will have the operation or not.

Even though the stories are fifty years apart we see many similarities between them. The couple is facing a problem but does not want to talk about it only indirectly. The couples have love for one another because if they did not they would not be together, and communicating about it. Stories about love, take many twist and turns when one wants something different than the other. Related stories have shared meaning but how charters react and feel towards what is going on can change the story around completely.

 Work Cited

Banks, Russell. “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. 62-67. Print

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Ann Charters. Compact 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. 416-419. Print



The Evolution of Change

In Marjane Satrapi “The Veil”, a young Islamic girl named “Marj” has to adapt to change while trying to fulfill what she has been called to do. Controversy begins to brew as family and friends begin to doubt her calling.

In 1979, “The Islamic Revolution” began to take place. Everything was still normal, kids were still in French non-religious schools and boys and girl were together. A year had past, and then things started to become strange. They began to split the girls and boys up and made the girls wear veils. A strange man, who had authority over Bilingual, starting closing schools and proclaimed, “They are symbols of capitalism” (789). The young boys and girls had no idea what was going on, all they knew was “that was that”. The girls did not like wearing the veil, it made them feel less powerful and unique between one another. We see in the illustrations that all the people never once have a smile on their faces they were all gloomy and sad. We also see in the pictures the girls taking the veil as a joke, playing and throwing it around. The women in the community were not happy either, Marj’s mother especially. She was so against it she eventually had to change her identity to not be threatened by others.

The young girl Marj was having problems finding her identity; she felt as if she was born extremely religious but her family was very modern and avant-garde. Through the artist pictures of the young girl, you can tell she is tied between two world’s, her own and her parents. At the age of six, she began to think she was “The Last Prophet”. She wanted to become a prophet, so she could change some rules that felt like the norm to others. She did not like the fact that their maid did not eat with them, that her father owned a Cadillac, and that her grandmother ached in her knees. She wanted to be able to fix these things the way she wanted them to be. Times when Marj was talking about being a prophet, talking to God and talking to her grandmother were the only times she was smiling and happy, the rest of the book she is upset and depressed. This shows that these things make her enjoy life and be happy. Everyone should have the chance of believing and achieving their dreams; no one should be allowed to over rule them.

Marj was one of these girls that practiced and preached what she did. She was very religious and, “like all my predecessors I had my holy book” (792). There were three main rules that came from Zarathustra “Holy Book”, which was to behave well, speak well, and act well. Marj wanted to add her own rules; she wanted to celebrate the traditional holidays, “like the fire ceremony, before the Persian New Year, Norouz on March 21st, and the first day of spring” (792). There was only one person that knew about her book, and rules and that was her grandmother. Through her grandmother she began to practice being a prophet, and her grandmother was the disciple. This brought her closer to her grandmother and also to God. Through these rules Marj was content and happy with herself she was not worried about anyone and how they felt about her. She was confident in her works.

Marj was the most unique student at her school, she talked with God and he told her that she was his choice, his last and best choice. The other kids and teachers laughed and thought she was crazy. Her parents were not as concerned as the others because that were more puzzled than anything. She began to feel pressured and did not want to upset her parents so she told them she wanted to be a doctor instead. She knew this would upset God but she wanted to fit in and feel normal for once. She began to feel guilty and knew what she had done was wrong and had hurt God. Like any other young girl, we sometimes conform to what others want us to be; we shy away from the real us. Marj knew what she wanted; she just had a hard time figuring it all out. In the end we see she wants, “to be justice, love and the wrath of God all in one” (794).

“The Islamic Revolution” forced Marj to adapt to change, which in turn allowed her to reveal her true calling. Through change and adversity she realized that she wanted to be a prophet no matter what others said or thought. This made her happy and confident and in the end “The Veil” was just another way of providing her reassurance of what she wanted to become in the future. She did not want to be told what to wear or do; she wanted to make those rules for herself.

Work Cited

Satrapi, Marjane. “The Veil.” Persepolis. New York, NY: Pantheon, 2003. 788- 794. Print.