Pelayo and Eisenda's attitude change
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The story illustrates the human need to interpret life's events. The Old Man, an exaggerated dramatization of any strange event, is interpreted in many different ways. Individual characters - the neighbor woman, Pelayo, Elisenda, Father Gonzaga, and all the onlookers - try to attach meaning to the Old Man, or to reduce his meaning, in terms of their own lives. There is a certain reverence for the old man in the very limited terms that Pelayo and Elisenda see him. He represents not an angel but a means to better their lives. Pelayo and Elisenda
never seem grateful to the angel, though he makes their fortune. They simply imprison him and consequently grow tired of him as one might do with a pet who has lost its novelty.