Is the old man an angle or a guardian angle?
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This is one of the major themes in this story. Can a decrepit old man with filthy wings be considered an angel? Can the qualities of an angel be intrinsic or extrinsic? Pelayo and Elisenda have visions of an angel as we might; the Judeo Christian view of beauty in its most traditional sense. What Marquez gives them is a "senile vulture". At the same time this old man has a kindness and patience about him. Your question is really open to interpretation. The neighbour may well be right. The old man could be an angel sent to help their baby, perhaps he is even a guardian angel. In the end one has to concede that the old man is something significant; I mean really, he can fly! Marquez gives us a morality tale and (angel or not) as the old man flies off, after being treated like a circus freak, we know that something profound has been lost.