“The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Shares a Message with Billy Eilish’s “All the Good Girls Go to Hell”

While reading the short story, “The Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” I could not help thinking that I had seen the image of this story before. Then, I remembered just where I had seen this before, in the music video to Billie Eilish’s new song, “All the Good Girls Go to Hell”.

In this video, Eilish uses the graphics and concepts to make a statement about the environmental crisis we are in right now. She does this by playing an angel that falls from the sky and is immoderately harmed by the dangerous environmental conditions caused by humans. As she struggles to drag her wings on the ground after they are covered in black oil and set on fire, the intention of the video is abundantly clear.

While one of them is about the environment and the other has more spiritual roots, both the music video and the short story share a message about human greed. In the short story, the people of the village lock the sick angel in a chicken coup for their own entertainment and in the music video humans exhibit greed by spilling oil and other hazardous chemicals for corporate gain. Both of these works greatly emphasize the concept that it is human nature to prioritize personal gain over helping others.

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