Option #1: Reader-Response Essay
Read “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel García Márquez (in the course textbook and attached below). Reflect and respond to the story in a 3- to 4-page reader-response essay.
Remember that reader-response essays are less formal than other types of academic writing. You may use the personal pronoun “I” and may write about whatever strikes you from the story. You may also choose to write from one of the following prompts:
- Explain how “good” and “evil” co-exist in this story, and which one you think wins out in the end. Use specific lines of text from the story to support your assertion.
- Was the old man with the enormous wings truly an angel? Why or why not? Use specific lines of text from the story to support your assertion.
- Gabriel García Márquez is said to have fathered the genre of “magical realism” with this story. What parts of the story felt magical to you and what parts felt real? How do they work together to convey the overall message of the story? Use specific lines of text from the story to support your assertion.
- Does the fact that Márquez is a South American writer have any influence on the developments of this story? Does its international setting have any impact on the reader’s potential understanding of the story?
For a successful paper:
- Have a strong thesis statement at the end of your introduction paragraph.
- Use a “hook” in the introduction paragraph to grab your readers’ attention.
- Use specific textual support from the short story in the body of your paper.
- Finish with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points, restates the thesis in some way, and possibly returns to the initial “hook.”
- Proofread for errors in spelling, grammar, and writing mechanics. Vary sentence structure and sentence length to add interest.