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The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
Transcript of The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
By Megan Gottschall Gabriel Garcia Marquez Review of Magical Realism Magical Realism in
"The Handsomest Drowned Man" Created Identity of Esteban Born in Colombia.
He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century.
Most notably known for popularizing Magical Realism.
In 1982, Marquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Genre of fiction which incorporates and blends magical elements with the real world.
"The power of magical realism derives from the way it blends the fantastic and the everyday by depicting incredible events and supporting them with realistic details" (Korb 2).
"The Handsomest Drowned Man" is an example of magical realism. Magical realism is shown in the way that Esteban is depicted in the story.
"This story is about a dead man who brings a village to life"
(Metzger). The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World Works Cited Korb, Rena. "An Overview of "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World"" Short Stories for Students (2002): n. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24
Metzger, Sheri E. "Overview of "The Handsomest Drowned Man"" Literature of Developing Nations for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Literature of Developing Nations 1 (2000): n. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2012.
Rader, Dean. "Overview of "The Handsomest Drowned Man"" Literature of Developing Nations for Students: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Literature of Developing Nations 1 (2000): n. pag. Literature Resource Center. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. Discussion Questions What do you think that this story, and the figure of Esteban in particular, represents in real life?
Do you believe that this story truly represents its description as a "tale for children"?
Would you consider Esteban an idol for the village? The drowned man is described as "the tallest, strongest, most virile, and best built man they had ever seen" who was covered with vegetation which "came from faraway oceans and deep water" (Marquez).
Since the villagers don't question his enormity as being unreal, neither does the reader. "[I]t is not the man's size that is magical at all; it is the magic his presence creates that reveals so much about the villagers, and the reader's ability to believe in magic" (Metzger 2). The Village before Esteban "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 that mothers always went about with the fear that the wind would carry off their children and the few dead that the years had caused among them had to be thrown off the cliffs. But the sea was calm and bountiful" (Marquez)
It is only upon the arrival of Esteban that the village is inspired to improve themselves. The drowned man, who is actually a stranger to the village, receives his story through the minds of the villagers who find him.
"They could see him in life, condemned to going through doors sideways, cracking his head on crossbeams, remaining on his feet during visits, not knowing what to do with his soft, pink, sea lion hands while the lady of the house looked for her most resistant chair...the ones who later on would whisper the big boob finally left, how nice, the handsome fool has gone"(Marquez). Esteban's Village "They let him go without an anchor so that he could come back if he wished and whenever he wished" Inspired by the dead man who brought life to their village, the people knew that everything would be different after Esteban.
"They did not need to look at one another to realize that they were no longer all present, that they would never be. 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 people would say "yes, over there, that's Esteban's village" (Marquez).