A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

why do you think the previous onlookers are described as frivolous or not properly serious?

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One of the larger themes in this short story involves the frivolity and scepticism of the onlookers. The old man does not fit the description of an angel that they have grown up with. The old man is dirty and dejected. The onlookers represent the superficial negativity associated between the illusion of the angel and the reality.