While reading “The Old Man with Enormous Wings,” I was struck by the way the villagers responded to the angel’s arrival and eventual lack of miracles.
First, when they saw the angel they poked and there food at him, and the author mentioned how the villagers who gave him food were the most “charitable souls.” I thought that even this supposed act of generosity was very deprecating, and when reading this I pictured the angel more and more like a circus animal that is cruelty treated, the very opposite of a creature that is connected to a god that the villagers look up to.
The villagers also had very little loyalty to the angel, especially when the spider woman appeared to have more knowledge or lessons to teach them than the angel did. In a way, the angel and the spider woman represent two different religions. The villagers had no allegiance to the angel as soon as they realized that he could not give them solutions to all their ailments and problems. They were only focused on what the angel could do for their own personal gain.
After evaluating their actions, I question if religion is only to make you feel better about yourself. Is it just a means of getting what you want? I think poorly of the villagers and consider them to be very materialistic, considering that they seem to be unable to have faith in something that cannot give them direct results. Their lack of allegiance revealed them to be very shallow, shedding light on how the author views human nature.