How “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” Draws Parallels to Modern Media

In this story, when the angel is first discovered, it quickly becomes the center of the town’s attention. People come from all over to view this angel, marveling at its absurdity. However, the second people caught word of a girl with a spider-head, the angel became old news. While people forgot about him, he was very much still there. Suffering all the same in a broken shed.

Upon reading this, it feels oddly familiar. It seems today that any story or event in the media is quickly forgotten after its 15 seconds of fame. However, that almost never means that it disappeared. When a story first breaks, media outlets cover it nonstop, like the angel. Then, as if the original event never happened, the media moves on to the next thing.

Take for example a recent string of media stories. First, Epstein commits suicide in prison, then the Amazon is burning, then Greta Thunburg yells at the U.N, etc… While all these events, at some point, were the main talking point of the country. Now most of them have fallen into irrelevancy. While these events didn’t disappeared, they may as well have. While the angel never disappeared, he may as well have.

4 thoughts on “How “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” Draws Parallels to Modern Media

  1. kkuehl15

    This is something that I had not thought of when I first read the story but is very prevalent and true. How many times has the media covered something so thoroughly and then moved on the next day? In this day and age, once a few days or even a week pass, no one is talking about the old news they have moved on to the next big thing.

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  2. KARIM AL ZAHABI

    I think having this issue with the modern media is some sort of a side effect of the instantaneous news we get today, on smartphones, tv, in schools and everywhere just instantly. It is not like old times where it would take a couple days for news to get to everyone and when it was taken much more seriously. This also happens because the credibility of the news sources has went down, either that, or that there are just so many points of views that we are exposed to today. These disagreements cause us to disregard the actual news, which causes us not to care and causes things to die out really quickly.

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  3. MICHAEL SANKOWSKI

    I completely agree with this claim and actually have a theory into the reasoning behind these rapid shifts in media coverage. I believe that it is because people feel an overwhelming compulsion to be in the know, so that they can talk to other people about things and avoid seeming foolish.

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  4. RYAN M

    I agree and I think it is this aspect of human nature that Marquez was satirizing. What is really interesting to me though is that this story was published in 1955 and it is still an extremely relevant criticism. Modern media is probably an even more extreme example and this goes to show how it really is in our nature as humans to quickly move on to the next thing.

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