The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World
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The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
Look at the title. What is the meaning of it? What type of tone does it set for the story?
The title of the story "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" clearly gives the impact of a young and beautiful man who dies as a result of drowning. The story is itself about the dead body of a young and extremely handsome man whose body washes up on the shore of a small and remote village which disrupts the life of the villagers and in an effort to cover up the dead body, the lives of the villagers change drastically. The title sets a sad and gloomy tone of the story and prepares the reader for the unexpected and tragic events that are going to take place as the story proceeds.
What person is the story written in? (1st, 2nd, 3rd?) Whose perspective is it from, or whose eyes are you looking through as you read?
The tale “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” has been written in the third person. The book was initially penned down by the author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Spanish and published in 1968. It was later translated into English in 1972 and published as a collection of short stories by Marquez, titled as Leaf Storm and Other Stories.
Why aren’t the villagers repulsed by the corpse?
As soon as the unidentified body washes up at the shore, the villagers immediately adopt the body as their uninvited guest. They welcome the body into their houses and let the women clean it. Along with showing the hospitality of cleaning the mud and seaweeds form it; the women of the village sew clothes for his size as he was so huge that no size of clothes or shoes would fit him. This all was done by the villagers in sheer compassion and empathy. They found the dead body of the young man and did not want his body to go without respect into the shores once again.
What are some of the signs that the drowned man is not like the villagers?
It could be easily identified that the body found at the seashore did not belong to the village due to certain reasons. First of all, there were only few houses in the whole village, and the people could be counted on fingers missing. The people checked multiple times, and only a glance was enough to tell that the dead man was not one of them. On the other hand, his physical appearance and facial features were totally unlike the local villagers, which was the reason that the villagers did not even think for a slight moment that the dead man was from them.
Who are the first ones to accept the dead man and to incorporate him into their lives?
The first man to discover about the dead body of a young man being swept on the shore was the one who saw the children playing with it on the beach. He stopped the kids from playing with it and spread alarm in the village. Then came the men who carried the dead body into the nearest house in the village. They were the first ones to accept the dead body of the stranger into their village and in their lives as well.
Why are the women able to say that "'he's ours!'" How do they arrive at this conclusion?
The men of the village run a night inquiry in the nearby villages to find out if the dead stranger belonged to those villages but they got a refusal from all the villages. At last after getting a “no” as an answer from everywhere, the men of the village announced that the body was of a derelict. On this announcement the women of the village felt joyful and exclaimed with joy “he’s ours!” as they were already amazed by his astonishing beauty and masculine physique.
Read the last sentence out loud. What is the effect of ending a story with a sentence that long?
The last line of the short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is exceptionally long and has many parts in it, separated by commas. The author has skillfully put an ending note to the story in a way that shows the transformations in the village that would take place after the body of Esteban has been put back once again into the sea. This one sentence sums up the changes which the dead body of a stranger has brought in the village. The whole sentence holds the future of the village, the upcoming lives of the people living in the village and what would be the trends followed by them after this event. The author has narrated this scenario in the last line as
“But they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban's memory could go everywhere without bumping into beams and so that no one in the future would dare whisper the big boob finally died, too bad, the handsome fool has finally died, because they were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make Esteban's memory eternal and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among the stones and planting flowers on the cliffs so that in future years at dawn the passengers on great liners would awaken, suffocated by the smell of gardens on the high seas, and the captain would have to come down from the bridge in his dress uniform, with his astrolabe, his pole star, and his row of war medals and, pointing to the promontory of roses on the horizon, he would say in fourteen languages, look there, where the wind is so peaceful now that it's gone to sleep beneath the beds, over there, where the sun's so bright that the sunflowers don't know which way to turn, yes, over there, that's Esteban's village.” CITATION Gab62 \l 1033 (Marquez)
Describe the physical environment of the village before and at the time of the dead man’s arrival.
The physical environment of the village before and at the time of arrival of the dead body, as described by the author in the story, is arid and dull. There were very few, to be precise twenty, houses in the whole village which were very small and unwelcoming. They were made up of wood, and had very small stone courtyards. The houses had no gardens or flowers, and they looked very stern. In fact, the author has pointed towards the dry and uninspiring nature of the villagers and how boring their lives were before the dead body of the stranger appeared on the shore.
In the words of author Gabriel Garcia Marquez,
“The village was made up of only twenty-odd wooden houses that had stone courtyards with no flowers and which were spread about on the end of a desert-like cape. There was so little land ……” CITATION Gab62 \l 1033 (Marquez)
What effect does the drowned man have on the women of the village?
The women of the village immediately became a fan of the newly swept stranger on the shore, as they were cleaning him up of the dirt and the mud. They were amazed by his beautiful looks and his manly physique. They loved the expressions of peace and tranquility on his face and resented the woman who would be his partner while he was alive. In addition to that, the women also felt pity for the young man as he would have faced great trouble in his life because of his huge body and big height.
Why do the women name the drowned man Esteban? After naming him, what do the women do?
As the villagers were greatly inspired by the persona of the stranger and they felt that he gave out vibes of a very strong and powerful man, they gave him the name Esteban. Esteban is a Spanish name which means "crowned in victory." The villagers felt that ": 'He has the face of someone called Esteban.", which clearly indicates that his face and his body, in short, his whole personality showed that he would have been a strong man when he was alive, that is why they could not think of any other name other than Esteban.
After naming him, the women of the village covered his face with a handkerchief, so that the light would not bother him.
Look at the phrase "the big boob finally died." Who is speaking here? What is the tone and how does it add to your picture of Esteban and the villagers?
In the story, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World,” the author Marquez has used a phrase “the big boob finally died” to express his views about the massive body of the dead stranger. He wants to express the size of the body of the stranger that it was huge and very big. The author has used an expression “no one in the future would dare whisper the big boob finally died” CITATION Gab62 \l 1033 (Marquez) here that in future no one will disrespect him and he will never be humiliated. Those expressions add to the value of the dead stranger Esteban and show that villagers held him in high esteem.
What are the men’s attitudes toward the drowned man?
Initially, the men grunted to see the attitude of their women towards a dead man and felt jealous that why their women were showering so much affection on a drowned dead body, who just swept on the shore a day before. They started having the feelings of mistrust towards their females and envious towards a dead body, but after sometime when the dead body was finally being taken to the sea once again, even the strongest of men started feeling sorry and emotional for the dead man.
What is the significance of the drowned man’s funeral and the nature of the transformation that occurs in the village as a result of his presence?
The villagers gave a splendid funeral to the drowned dead man who was a complete stranger for them but still had given birth to strong emotions between them. The village had never seen such a grand and magnificent funeral before. The funeral and the presence of the drowned dead ma, Esteban, had a very positive and significant impact on the nature of the villagers and it united them into one which had never happened before.
What are some of the main themes of the story? Think about the types of figurative language that keep cropping up, as well as about the plot itself.
The central theme of this short story is that we all can live in peace and be united; all we need in our lives is a tragedy. The most notable figurative item that has been used is the description of the physique of the dead man, He had the looks and body just like a Greek God, and he carried the personality just like Zeus. He gave out vibes just like he used to carry the whole world over his firm and broad shoulders and he could easily be perceived to be a great hard worker.
BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. "The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World." Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. Leaf Storm and Other Stories. 1968.
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