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MedievalTimes

The impact of Christianity on Medieval Europe can be traced to 325 ADwhen Emperor Constantine hosted a council meeting of some clergy(Davis). The decisions made at the infamous meeting were adopted aslaws. For example, bishops were granted governmental powers whileChristianity was honored as the only acceptable religion (Davis). Ananalysis of historical information reveals that Christianity hadadverse effects on Medieval Europe through the use of fear tactics toensure complete devotion and loyalty.

Christianity influenced the culture of Medieval Europe through theactions of the Roman Catholic Church. Notably, the latter institutionhad the sole control over the relationship between God and individualEuropeans (Lynch and Adamo). Furthermore, the Catholic Churchexercised a monopoly on spiritual insight. In fact, the majority ofpeople could neither read nor write. Hence, it was impossible forEuropeans to acquire and assimilate religious knowledge. In thisregard, Christianity was taught through the use of weekly servicesand passion plays. The Catholic Church taught that man was inherentlysinful and could only be redeemed through the efforts of thereligion. The organization also determined the people that would berewarded or punished in heaven and hell, respectively. Many Europeanswere terrified of the prospect of suffering everlasting torment in afiery location if they failed to repent. Tales of horror were used tosubvert the willpower of many people. Therefore, Christianityexercised power and control over many people in Medieval Europe.

The Catholic Church expanded its sphere of influence throughpolitical alliances. In many instances, weak monarchs sought papalapproval to reduce the conflicts that arose over succession (Lynchand Adamo). Consequently, Christianity acquired the mandate toexercise political power over both nobles and peasants. Inparticular, the Catholic Church regulated the extent of scientificdiscovery. In this regard, dissenting opinions and facts were notallowed to foster. The entire human society was controlled innumerous ways. For example, most Europeans adhered strictly toCatholic belief and traditions (Lynch and Adamo). People also hadlimited understanding of scientific concepts. Others were scared ofchallenging the falsehoods that were taught about life. Sadly, anyperson that criticized the church was accused of heresy. Condemnedheretics were usually burnt alive at the stake to serve as a warningexample to the townspeople. The Pope was granted the power todetermine the type of leaders who would ascend to kingly power (Lynchand Adamo). Other rulers required the approval of Christianity tobuild up their support and win public opinion. Hence, the CatholicChurch gained unprecedented control over political affairs inMedieval Europe.

Christianity also had an economic impact on the living standards ofpeople. Notably, the Catholic Church possessed plenty of land, whichwas a primary source of wealth in Medieval Europe. The Christianityacquired such property due to the generous nature of many adherents(Lynch and Adamo). In fact, some people imagined that they couldguarantee their eternal salvation if they offered their land to theCatholic Church. Granted, Christianity led to the establishment ofmany hospitals and schools (Woods Jr). Some churches served asmakeshift healthcare facilities where the sick received personalcare. Travelers throughout Medieval Europe also sought shelter inreligious buildings during periods of inclement weather (Woods Jr).Furthermore, cathedrals and monasteries were used as learning centersfor the advancement of Catholic beliefs.

Peasants in Medieval Europe were forced to work without pay on landowned by religious organizations. Rather than engage in productiveactivities, such individuals chose to spend time on Church-ownedproperty (Lynch and Adamo). Therefore, the cycle of poverty waspropagated since many poor people could not obtain food for theirfamilies. Moreover, peasants were required to pay 10% of their annualearnings in the form of tithes (Lynch and Adamo). The individualsthat could not afford money still had to remit their dues usingcommodities. Some of the most common items included harvested grains,seeds, and animals. Most of the farm produce was needed to providefood for peasant families throughout the entire year (Lynch andAdamo). On the other hand, the Catholic Church stored the dues intithe barns where rodents would infiltrate and destroy the farmproduce. Peasants who failed to pay tithes were threatened with theprospect of everlasting torture in a fiery hell (Lynch and Adamo).Consequently, Christianity influenced large sections of MedievalEurope by using sensationalized stories to claim the loyalty of poorpeople.

The Catholic Church also increased its wealth through an elaboratesystem of collections. For example, members of the faith had to payfor baptisms. Dedication to God was viewed as a prerequisite for anyperson desiring to live in heaven (Lynch and Adamo). Individuals whodied in an unbaptized state were doomed to hell. Couples also had topay for clergy to perform marriages in churches. People who livedtogether before legalizing their union were considered as God’senemies. Families with dead relatives also had to pay expensiveburial rites. The Catholic Church used the rewards of heavenly lifeto acquire absolute obedience (Lynch and Adamo). Hence, manyEuropeans were convinced that they had to be buried on holy ground tosecure their eternal blessings. Notwithstanding, the Church wasexempted from paying taxes (Lynch and Adamo). In this manner,Christianity spread across Medieval Europe as a means of earningtax-free living.

Additionally, the Catholic Church influenced the construction designsof many buildings. Peasants lived in filthy, cruck houses thatcollapsed during inclement weather such as hailstorms. Contrariwise,cathedrals and monasteries were built using expensive, robustmaterial (Woods Jr). In fact, many of the Medieval churches can beseen in York and Canterbury. Such buildings were customarily biggerthan existing royal palaces. The churches were constructed in amanner such that people could spot them from miles around (Woods Jr).Other buildings adopted similar structures to ensure longevity.Therefore, Christianity had an indelible influence on theconstruction industry within Medieval Europe.

Christianity also influenced aspects of Medieval Europe through theactions of its clergy. Notably, priests and other high-rankingindividuals provided guidance on morality and personal values. Peoplewere also required to receive regular sacraments as a demonstrationof their devotion. Monks and nuns were tasked with providing reliefto the sick and poor (Woods Jr). Children in Medieval Europerecognized the female parishioners as instructors. Missionariesconverted many of the pagan German tribes into Christianity (WoodsJr). Besides, the Catholic Church was also instrumental in thecivilization of barbaric individuals.

Indeed, Christianity had a negative influence on Medieval Europethrough oppression and the propagation of fear. The Catholic Churchthreatened its opposers with the prospect of eternal torment in afiery hell. On the other hand, obedient adherents were promisedeverlasting life in heaven. The Church also exploited the illiteracyof most Europeans to ensure total subjection. In this regard,heretics were burned alive at the stake. Peasants were forced to workwithout pay while still remitting annual tithes. Gullible adherentsalso surrendered their property to the Church despite the fact thatthe latter institution was exempt from tax. Numerous levies werecharged on burials, baptisms, and marriages. Furthermore, the Churchwielded political power by selecting monarchs. Subsequently, publicpolicy was based on Christian values. Admittedly, the Catholic Churchled to the establishment of schools and hospitals. New constructiondesigns also emerged. Nevertheless, Christianity caused widespreadmisery throughout Medieval Europe.

Works Cited

Davis, Ralph Henry Carless. A history of medieval Europe: fromConstantine to Saint Louis. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Lynch, Joseph H., and Phillip C. Adamo. The medieval church: Abrief history. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Woods Jr, Thomas. How the Catholic Church built westerncivilization. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2012. Print.

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Outline of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Act 1

Scene 1: Francismaintains watch over the castle and is subsequently relieved byBernardo. The latter is joined by Marcellus and Horatio. The Ghost ofthe late King of Denmark makes a brief and mysterious appearance.This scene shows the theme of fantasy.

Scene 2: KingClaudius of Denmark delivers a speech on his betrothal to QueenGertrude after the death of his brother. Voltimand and Cornelius aresent to Norway as peacemakers while the king and queen convinceHamlet to stay in Denmark and fulfill his princely duties. Hamletreveals his rage at his mother for her incestuous marriage toClaudius soon after the death of the prince’s father. This sceneshows the theme of incest.

Scene 3: Laerteswarns Ophelia that Hamlet’s love for her is fleeting. Poloniusremarks that young men make irrational vows based on passion.Consequently, he prohibits Ophelia from getting in touch with Hamlet.This scene shows the theme of family.

Scene 4: Horatioand Hamlet hold an intense discussion on the castle’s battlements.The latter shows his disdain for drunkenness. Hamlet decides tofollow the apparition into the darkness. This scene shows the themeof naivety.

Scene 5: TheGhost reveals that Hamlet’s father was murdered by the Claudius.Hamlet determines to inflict revenge on Claudius for his actions.Subsequently, Hamlet wondered whether to trust the ghost’s wordsand if the spirit was a demon trying to control his actions. Thisscene shows the themes of revenge and trust.

Act 2

Scene 1: Poloniusarranges for Reynaldo to travel to Paris and spy on Laertes since theformer is worried about his son. Ophelia reveals that she wasterrified upon meeting Hamlet. Polonius reveals his intention to letClaudius know of Hamlet’s madness. This scene shows the theme offamily.

Scene 2: KingClaudius questions Guildenstern and Rosencrantz to understand thesudden change in Hamlet’s behavior. Polonius presents Hamlet’sletter to Ophelia as evidence to prove his madness. Hamlet plans toreenact his father’s murder in a play to ascertain Claudius’guilt. This scene shows the theme of indecision.

Act 3

Scene 1:Guildenstern and Rosencrantz inform Claudius that they cannotpinpoint the actual reason for the drastic change in Hamlet’sdemeanor. Claudius and Polonius lie in wait to eavesdrop while Hamletconfronts Ophelia. The king reacts fearfully by sending Hamlet toEngland, along with Guildenstern and Rosencrantz. This scene showsthe theme of guilt.

Scene 2: Hamletadmonishes three of the performers to adhere to the script. The kingorders an abrupt end to the play. Horatio and Hamlet are convincedthat Claudius’ unprecedented reaction confirms his guilt. Thisscene shows the theme of fantasy.

Scene 3: The kingreflects on his murderous and treacherous actions and concludes thathe is beyond repentance. Hamlet decides against murdering Claudius inhis state of repentance since the latter would go to heaven. Hamletwishes the king to die while either intoxicated, enraged orcommitting incest with the queen. This scene shows the theme ofindecision.

Scene 4: Poloniuslies in wait as Hamlet rushes in to speak to his mother. Hamlet killsPolonius with a sword while imagining that Claudius had followed himinto the queen’s room. Subsequently, Hamlet chastises his motherfor her sinful behavior and implores her to stop further intimacywith Claudius. This scene shows the theme of futility throughHamlet’s illogical actions.

Act 4

Scene 1: Gertrudereports the murder of Polonius to the king. Hence, Guildenstern andRosencrantz are ordered to locate the dead body. Claudius states hisintention to inform the council of Hamlet’s crime. This scene showsthe theme of opportunism through the scheming actions of the king.

Scene 2:Guildenstern and Rosencrantz demand to know where Hamlet has hiddenthe dead body. Hamlet criticizes the two men for overstepping theirmandate and questioning the prince. Nevertheless, Hamlet reluctantlyagrees to see the king. This scene shows the theme of gullibility byridiculing the inability to use critical thinking.

Scene 3: Claudiusinforms his lords that Hamlet has murdered Polonius and hence shouldbe exiled to England as retribution. The king commands Guildensternand Rosencrantz to track Hamlet’s movements in England.Subsequently, Claudius threatens to launch war on the British unlessthey murdered Hamlet. This scene shows the themes of treacherythrough the king’s cunning personality.

Scene 4: Hamletmeets with a Captain serving in an army commanded by the Prince ofNorway. Hamlet admires the determination and resolve of the soldierssince they are prepared to die for a piece of land. Subsequently, theprince expresses his determination to ponder over murderous thoughts.This scene shows the theme of death as human life is lost during war.

Scene 5: Horatioand the queen discuss the troubled mental state of Ophelia. Thelatter was deeply distressed by her father’s murder at the hands ofher former lover. Laertes blames Claudius for Polonius’ death andstorms the castle to avenge the killing. This scene shows the themesof death and betrayal.

Scene 6: Hamletwrites a letter to Horatio informing the latter of his capturepirates. The prince also states that he was released after pledgingto repay his captors. Furthermore, Hamlet requests Horatio to meethim and ensure that Claudius receives particular letters. This sceneshows the theme of friendship.

Scene 7: The kingdiscusses with Laertes how they could kill Hamlet. Claudius isreluctant to have any direct involvement since he does not want tohurt the queen and enrage his Danish subjects. The king suggests thatHamlet should be pitted against Laertes in a fencing match where thelatter will use a poisoned sword to murder the prince. This sceneshows the theme of revenge as Laertes plans to murder Hamlet.

Act 5

Scene 1: UponOphelia’s suicide, two men are assigned to prepare a grave in thechurchyard. Hamlet came across the skull of a jester and hencethought about the inevitability of death. The prince also fails tounderstand why Laertes is angry at him yet Polonius’ death was anaccident and Ophelia’s death occurred in Hamlet’s absence. Thisscene shows the themes of death and social stratification.

Scene 2: Hamletreveals that Guildenstern and Rosencrantz were possibly killed inEngland since he intercepted and altered the king’s letter. Theprince justifies his anger and desire for revenge by citing pastinjustices. The fencing duel leads to the deaths of Gertrude,Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet. This scene shows the themes ofcorruption and revenge as many characters suffer premature deaths.

Work Cited

“The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.” Shakespeare.mit.edu.Web. 6 Nov. 2016.

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PersonalValues

Family valueshave a fundamental influence on an individual’s beliefs andpractices. In many instances, people shape their attitudes onexperiences. The values learned in my family are reflected in mybeliefs about religion and education in several ways. In manyinstances, my parents emphasized the importance of attending school.Hence, I viewed education as an indispensable part of life. Myparents spent considerable time to instruct me on different subjects.In this regard, my knowledge and skills continually increased.Therefore, I adopted the view that secular education could help me toacquire professional qualifications. The application of knowledgewould also enable me to obtain satisfying forms of employment. Myfamily also taught me essential activities such as washing, cooking,and doing laundry. Such lessons helped me to appreciate the fact thatparents had the sole responsibility to educate their children.Furthermore, family values contributed to most of my religiousbeliefs. For example, I learned that there existed a loving andcaring God. Notwithstanding the prevalence of evolution beliefs,solid evidence proved that an intelligent designer had created theentire universe. My parents also instructed us on how to cultivatequalities such as patience, honesty, humility, loyalty, kindness, andself-control. My siblings and I were constantly encouraged to beforgiving and considerate to one another. In this respect, Irecognized the importance of displaying such qualities in my dailylife. My family had tremendous faith in the Bible as the authenticword of God. Our parents would read to us a few chapters every day.We were also taught to view Jesus as the appointed savior and king ofhumans. Therefore, I identified myself as a Christian.

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The Sanctity of Human Life

The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell tells the story ofSanger Rainsford as a big-game hunter. Rainsford fell from aBrazil-bound yacht and had to escape for his life when pursued byGeneral Zaroff. On the other hand, A Very Old Man with EnormousWings by Gabriel Marcia Marquez portrays the story of asupernatural being trapped on a couple’s land. The old man lived arestricted life and became a public spectacle. An analysis of the twostories reveals that human life deserves the utmost respect.

Both narratives highlight the fleeting nature of human life. Pelayoand Elisenda experienced distress due to the debilitating conditionof their child. Pelayo got frightened by the nightmare and hence “ranto get Elisenda, his wife, who was putting compresses on the sickchild.” However, the parents felt tremendous relief when “thechild woke up without a fever and with desire to eat” (Marquez).Similarly, Rainsford “reached too far and lost his balance” whiletrying to peer “in the direction from which” three gunshotssounded (Cornell). Frantically, the hunter “struggled up to thesurface and tried to cry out” for help. Although “he wrestledhimself out of his clothes and shouted with all his power,” theyacht disappeared into the distance. Subsequently, Rainsfordcontemplated the possibility of dying at sea. Therefore, human lifecould end momentarily and without notice.

Furthermore, both stories manifest the disrespect that people showfor human life and dignity. The old man got treated like a captiveand required to entertain the villagers. In fact, “the wholeneighborhood” gathered “in front of the chicken coop having funwith the angel, without the slightest reverence, tossing him thingsto eat through the openings in the wire as if he weren’t asupernatural creature but a circus animal” (Marquez). Additionally,some people “pulled out feathers to touch their defective partswith” while others “threw stones at him, trying to get him torise so that they could see him standing.” The old man sufferedfrom fatigue and needed periods of extensive rest. Nonetheless,onlookers “burned his side with an iron for branding steers” when“they thought that he was dead.” Similarly, General Zaroffregarded humans as mere objects of prey. The hunter found “nothrill left in tigers, no real danger.” Zaroff claimed that hunting“had become too easy” since “no animal had a chance”(Cornell). Since “instinct is no match for reason,” the hunterpreferred a target with “courage, cunning, and above all, it mustbe able to reason.” Hence, General Zaroff showed little respect forthe sanctity of human life.

Nevertheless, the narratives used various reasons to justify theexploitation of human life. Pelayo and Elisenda held the old mancaptive to benefit from the entry charges paid by the onlookers. Bothparents “were happy with fatigue, for in less than a week they hadcrammed their rooms with money and the line of pilgrims waiting theirturn to enter still reached beyond the horizon.” Consequently,“they built a two-story mansion with balconies and gardens and highnetting so that crabs wouldn’t get in during the winter.”Elisenda “bought some satin pumps with high heels and many dressesof iridescent silk” while “Pelayo also set up a rabbit warrenclose to town” (Marquez). Contrariwise, General Zaroff exploitedhuman life due to the resultant “thrill.” The hunter ridiculedRainsford for harboring “romantic ideas about the value of humanlife” (Cornell).

Indeed, both stories show the sanctity of human life and dignity.Notwithstanding the ever-present threat of death, people tried toprolong their existence. Unfortunately, some people manifested utterdisrespect for human life for the sake of profit. Conversely, otherswould kill merely for the thrill.

Works Cited

Cornell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game.” Archive.org.Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

Marquez, Gabriel G. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” NorthDakota State University. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

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PrimarySource

The document was written by Thomas Jefferson, a renowned scientist,architect, and scientist. Furthermore, Jefferson was a politicalperson since he served as the third President of the United States(1801-1809). Notably, he also served as the Governor of Virginia andVice President of the U.S (Randall). During the early parts of hispolitical career, Jefferson was appointed as a minister to France andthe Secretary of State. He was highly educated since he attended theCollege of William and Mary in Williamsburg for three years(Jefferson). Subsequently, Jefferson studied law under the tutelageof George Wythe for five years.

House and Senate representatives formed part of the intended audiencefor Jefferson’s speech. He viewed his listeners not only as “fellowcitizens” but also as “republicans” and “federalists.” Theauthor recognized that his audience comprised of “gentlemen, whoare charged with the sovereign functions of legislation”(Jefferson). Consequently, Jefferson made several statements aboutthe political views of his audience. For instance, he disputed fearsthat the republican government could not be strong. The story line ofthe document reveals Jefferson’s endeavor to espouse hisqualifications as the first executive magistrate. In this regard, heused eloquent language to show his political beliefs. For example,Jefferson stated his conviction that the U.S. was the strongestgovernment on earth. Furthermore, he was convinced that no nativecitizen would wish to dissolve the union. Jefferson also emphasizedthe invincibility of the nation’s republican features.

The document was written to serve as an acceptance speech afterJefferson took oath as the country’s third president. In fact, hewished to convey his appreciation for the incredible favor bestowedupon him. Jefferson was acutely aware of his limitations since hefelt that the task was “above his talents.” Hence, he wanted todischarge his duties with “anxious and awful presentiments”(Jefferson). In addition, the “greatness” of such an assignmentlaid bare the “weakness” of his powers.

The document can be classified as a speech draft due to the numerouserasures made by its author. Jefferson made several modificationsthat created occasional extra space between some words. Besides, healso inserted interlineations and abbreviations such as “govmt”and “acknoleging.” The draft was used to capture Jefferson’sthoughts and arrange his words in a manner that would convey his truebeliefs. Many sentences also seem incomplete or misplaced. Therefore,it is quite clear that he intended to make further amendments beforecreating the final speech.

The author made several basic assumptions about the country and hisaudience. Jefferson also made subjective statements about his abilityto discharge his duties as President. For instance, he considered theU.S. as “a rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land.”Jefferson also assumed that the country traversed “all the seaswith the rich productions of their industry.” Additionally, heassumed that the country had unprecedented prospects of prosperity asit advanced “rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye”(Jefferson). Jefferson also assumed that members of his audiencewould serve as useful “resources of wisdom, of virtue, and ofzeal,” on which he could “rely under all difficulties”(Jefferson). Moreover, he assumed that his listeners would offer therequired “guidance and support” while he served as President.Jefferson had modest expectations since he acknowledged thelikelihood of making defective “judgment.” Nevertheless, heassumed that his fellow citizens would grant him “indulgence” forhis errors.

The document is reliable and trustworthy since it was written inJefferson’s handwriting. In fact, the draft was also part of alarger collection of writings attributed to the same author.Therefore, the document can be trusted as an authentic piece. Thesociety that revealed this document seems to have a keen interest inearly 19th century writings. In particular, Jefferson hasreceived plenty of acclaim as a distinguished diplomat, honorablestatesman, and founding father. Such fame and recognition haveexalted the author’s public profile. As the country’s thirdpresident, Jefferson had a significant impact on the economical,religious, social, and political landscape. Consequently, the societythat revealed this document aim to provide insight into the privateand public aspects of Jefferson’s life.

Undoubtedly, the document plays a fundamental role in the country’shistory. Jefferson’s speech captures the essence of Americantraditions. For example, he considered the country as immune to the“exterminating havoc” experienced in other areas. Jefferson alsoclaimed that the U.S. was a “chosen country with room enough forour descendants to the thousandth generation.” In this regard, thedocument serves as the basis for American federalism andexistentialism. Jefferson stated that the country enjoyed “the mostfavorable temperatures of climate” and was “enlightened by abenign religion” (Jefferson). Consequently, Americans had the rightto feel proud of their nationality. The U.S. could also takeliberties in the affairs of other countries.

The document describes the ideals worthy of pursuit by all forms ofgovernment. Firstly, leaders must ensure that all citizens enjoy“equal and exact justice.” Peace and safety must also be ensuredwithin a country’s borders. The rule of law should safeguarddemocratic institutions through “free and frequent elections”(Jefferson). Commercial activities must also be encouraged to improvethe living standards of a country’s citizens. Other freedomspertaining to religion and the press must also be protected.Therefore, the document serves as the ultimate guide for allgovernments.

Works Cited

Jefferson, Thomas. Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson. Raleigh,N.C.: Alex Catalogue. Print.

Jefferson, Thomas. March 4, 1801, Draft of First Inaugural. TheJefferson Papers. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.

Randall, Willard Sterne. Thomas Jefferson: a life. New WordCity, 2014. Print.

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FantasticLiterature

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquezis a short story that captures the essence of human interactions. Thevery old man was trapped on Elisenda and Pelayo’s patio after hehad fallen victim to the inclement weather. The couple locked him ina chicken coop while they deliberated on their next steps.Subsequently, the townspeople traveled for long distances to marvelat the old man’s unique features. Although he ignores theunrelenting attention, onlookers resort to torturous methods. Ananalysis of the short story reveals the fact that humans are mostlyinclined to oppress individuals who appear vulnerable.

The very old man started off in a terrible condition after hecrash-landed in the storm. Under such circumstances, it is expectedthat he would be helped to recover. In fact, the old man was“groaning in the rear of the courtyard” (Marquez). Furthermore,he was “lying face down in the mud” and could not get up despite“his tremendous efforts.” The old man was impeded by “his hugebuzzard wings” which “were forever entangled in the mud.”Although it would have been proper to help the person to recover hisstrength and vitality, Pelayo and Elisenda decided to hold him“captive”. In particular, they “dragged him out of the mud andlocked him up with the hens in the wire chicken loop.” The wiseneighbor woman had recommended that the old man should be clubbed todeath since he intended to harm the couple’s child. Inquisitivecrows also poked and prodded him without letup. Therefore, suchevents highlight the human tendency to increase the sufferingexperienced by the most vulnerable members of the society.

Admittedly, Pelayo and Elisando were noticeably poor prior to the oldman’s detention. The couple “had killed so many crabs inside thehouse” to reduce the “stench” within their household. Pelayoand Elisenda’s “sad” state was compounded by the fact their“newborn child had a temperature all night” (Marquez). However,they decided to fence the yard and charge “five cents admission tosee the angel.” Within a week, the couple “had crammed theirrooms with money and the line of pilgrims waiting their turn to enterstill reached beyond the horizon.” The proceeds from the old man’scaptivity allowed Pelayo and Elisenda to build “a two-story mansionwith balconies and gardens and high netting.” Notably, their househad iron bars designed to prevent the entry of angels. Pelayoacquired a rabbit warren while Elisenda “bought some satin pumpswith high heels and many dresses of iridescent silk.” The couplebenefited from the old man’s misfortune by choosing to enrichthemselves. While the angel wallowed in captivity, Pelayo andElisenda enjoyed material wealth ad luxury. Hence, this shows thehuman tendency to exploit the misfortunes of the less fortunateindividuals in society.

The story also shows how humans tend to pursue selfish interests atthe expense of more vulnerable members of the society. The crowd wasdrawn to the angel’s features and wished that the old man wouldentertain them. Nevertheless, a shift of attention occurred when“there arrived in the town the traveling show of the woman who hadbeen changed into a spider for having disobeyed her parents”(Marquez). The people were happy that they could pay “less than theadmission to see the angel.” They could also “ask her all mannerof questions about her absurd state.” Individuals were alsopermitted “to examine her up and down” and hence determine thetruthfulness of “her horror.” Contrariwise, the old man wasviewed as “a haughty angel who scarcely deigned to look atmortals.” The miracles performed by the angel were considered as“mocking fun” since they “showed a certain mental disorder.”The appearance of the woman caused “Pelayo’s courtyard” tobecome empty. Therefore, the people manifested the human tendency toseek selfish interests regardless of the impact on the less fortunatemembers of the society.

Additionally, the crowd was hostile and antagonistic towards the oldman. In fact, the “whole neighborhood” stood “in front of thechicken coop having fun with the angel” (Marquez). The people alsodisplayed little “reverence” for the old man and hence tossed“him things to eat through the openings in the wire as if heweren’t a supernatural creature but a circus animal.” Thepetulant crowd “tried to make him eat some mothballs” since theyassumed that such food was “prescribed for angels.” During hisfirst days of captivity, “hens pecked” at the very old man while“cripples pulled out feathers to touch their defective parts with.”Some people “threw stones at him” to make the old man stand. Inaddition, the crowd mercilessly “burned his side with an iron forbranding steers.” Subsequently, the old man ranted in hisincorrigible language while he shed tears due to the excruciatingpain. Therefore, the deplorable behavior of the crowd shows the humantendency to show hostility and cruelty to those in need ofcompassion.

Indeed, the short story reveals the innate human tendencies such asoppression and discrimination. Such traits are mostly expressedtowards the vulnerable members of the society. Although the very oldman seemed harmless, he was still subjected to physical and emotionaltorture. The couple held him as a prisoner and profited financiallyfrom his captivity. The sudden shift of attention away from the oldman also shows the cultural tendency to objectify other people.

Work Cited

Marquez, Gabriel G. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” NorthDakota State University. Web. 29 Oct. 2016.