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Beauty Overlooked

In: English and Literature

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Beauty Overlooked Priscilla Sisneros
Central New Mexico Community College

Beauty is often associated with wealth, good looks, a nice body or some physical characteristic that is attractive. From the minute you turn on your TV you see into a world that admires fame and wealth. Commercials portray a picture of sexy men and women with big smiles on their faces living it up. Billboards throughout any city I have ever passed through have attractive people on them in hopes that their “beauty” will gain your attention long enough to read what they are selling. Is this the true beauty that brings happiness to people? As a society we have become so superficial that we forget about what really matters, the beauty that people possess on the inside. The story “A very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez depicts a story of a fallen angel that is molting, ugly, burdensome, and considered a circus freak. However, the deeper you read into the story you soon began to realize that this anomaly of nature is there for a reason. He was Pelayo and Elisenda’s child’s guardian angel that they assumed was there to take their child. “Frightened by the nightmare, Pelayo ran to get Elisenda, his wife, who was putting compresses on the sick child.” “He’s an angel,” she told them. “He must have been coming for the child but the poor fellow is so old that the rain knocked him down.” Garcia wrote (2013). However, as you continue to read into the story you see that the angel’s inner beauty is that of protection and distraction over the child. Sickness can affect anyone and even with recent advances in medicine we still have children that are born with ailments or contract an illness that alters their life. We see commercials about St Judes Hospital and children with bald heads suffering from cancer or some other terminal illness. Society does not view these commercials as “beauty” but as a way to sympathize with the poor, unhealthy children who need your financial support. Just because a child is sick, retarded, or deformed does not mean that they are not beautiful. All of us crave laughter, acceptance, and love no matter what we look like on the outside. Pelayo’s sons guardian angel was there to take the ridicule, the laughter, the mockery, and used as a distraction. The angel allowed Pelayo to “drag him out of the mud and lock him up with the hens in the wire chicken coop.” where the people of the town were “mocking fun” of the angel and “Pulled his feathers” Garcia (2013) Even though we do not know what type of sickness Pelayo’s son had we see the story change from his deteriorating circumstance to that of the angel’s self sacrificing choice to humble his celestial powers for that of a mortal. The inner beauty that everyone has is often overlooked and people are quick to judge others based on their appearance. Racial inequality, prejudice, and inequality are still common today. They are traits that humans have a hard time ridding ourselves of. Just like the angel whom was viewed as a “cataclysm in response” Garcia (2013) is similar to how freeing the slaves was viewed. Our nation viewed slavery as moral due to the difference in the appearance of one’s skin. If we only viewed African Americans based on appearance, like our forefathers did, we would never appreciate the beauty they have brought to our society. If we continued to hold those prejudices based off appearance we would never have been amazed watching the numerous African American athletes’ excel at sports. The comedy brought to us by Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and many other famous African American stars would not have brought laughter to our lives and similes to our faces because society would have never given them a chance to show their inner beauty. Michael Jackson, in all of his eeriness, transformed the world of music and brought song and dance to the entire world. It’s the inner beauty of the person that must be measured or we lose out on so many good things that people have to offer. Bigotry over gender, sexual preference, or age is often another battle that must be viewed based on personality, work ethic, and inner beauty. Gender inequality is a subject that has personally affected me. Just like the angel in the reading who was “looked downward upon because he was a old man" women often have to overcome a similar stereotype. There are numerous women who are as smart, can complete the same physical tasks, and are equally capable to complete the tasks men do. I worked in a male dominant field for 5 years. I often found myself being treated unfairly by certain veteran meat cutters who didn’t believe that because I was a woman that I was capable of doing the job. I was never judged on my work ethic but viewed like the angel and often looked at as a hindrance “because then he was no longer an annoyance in her life but an imaginary dot on the horizon of the sea” Garcia (2013). Society often overlooks the elderly and their inner beauty and the contributions they have brought to society. The shortsightedness of society often hinders the elderly within the work force. I have also personally seen gay friends get treated differently because their sexual preference is not a common practice. I know numerous gay and lesbians who are great hearted people who have been loving to my family.
We, as a society, need to be more like the ugly, old fallen angel. He was looked upon and judged by his appearance but in the end he was there to humbly protect the child. Every time the child got sick the angel came down with the same illness. “They both came down with chicken pox” Garcia (2013). The angel's devotion is a example for us as a society. We must learn to lay down our selfish needs and expectations for the benefit of others. There was no payment or recognition for what the angel did for the child. This is another important lesson; society often demands a repayment for deeds done. This was ultimately a gift of beautiful love from a being deemed ugly.

Works Cited

Garcia Marques, Gabriel. "A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS: A TALE FOR CHILDREN Online PDF Viewer. Read, Download Any Share Any PDF File About:." A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS: A TALE FOR CHILDREN Online PDF Viewer. Read, Download Any Share Any PDF File About:. Collected Stories, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.

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