A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

Pelayo and Elisenda’s newborn son is very ill before the angel arrives, but he makes a full recovery by the end of the story. He is the only character who doesn’t treat the angel with disdain, because he is too young and innocent to take social cues from his cruel community. In fact, he is quite happy to go inside the chicken coop to play. It seems like the child and the angel are somehow linked, as shown by them contracting chicken pox together. The child has no voice in the story, but the reader must consider to what extent his recovery to full strength is related to the angel’s visit.

The Child Quotes in A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

The A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings quotes below are all either spoken by The Child or refer to The Child. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Sacred and the Mundane Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings published in 1984.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Quotes

On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench. The world had been sad since Tuesday.

Related Characters: Pelayo, The Child
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
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At first, when the child learned to walk, they were careful that he not get too close to the chicken coop. But then they began to lose their fears and got used to the smell, and before they child got his second teeth he’d gone inside the chicken coop to play, where the wires were falling apart. The angel was no less standoffish with him than with the other mortals, but he tolerated the most ingenious infamies with the patience of a dog who had no illusions.

Related Characters: The Old Man (the Angel) , The Child
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Child Character Timeline in A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

The timeline below shows where the character The Child appears in A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
The Sacred and the Mundane Theme Icon
Patience, Empathy, and Cruelty Theme Icon
A few hours later, the sick child’s appetite returns and this good fortune makes Pelayo and Elisenda feel “magnanimous”: they decide that... (full context)
The Sacred and the Mundane Theme Icon
Patience, Empathy, and Cruelty Theme Icon
...wash it down, but only because the “dungheap stench” gets so bad. Pelayo and Elisenda’s child has grown strong and learned to walk. Although his parents didn’t let him at first,... (full context)
The Sacred and the Mundane Theme Icon
Patience, Empathy, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Both the angel and the child come down with a case of the chicken pox. A doctor comes to check on... (full context)
Patience, Empathy, and Cruelty Theme Icon
Faith, Religion, and Morality Theme Icon
The child is, once again, in good health and starts attending school. Over time, the sun and... (full context)