Ambition In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The Handsomest Drowned Man

1191 Words5 Pages
Envy, one of the seven deadly sins, is seen by some as the most potent cause of unhappiness. On the other hand, others see it as a necessary emotion for self-improvement and ambition. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World explores these themes of self-improvement and ambition as the characters in the story search for and achieve these aspects of themselves. The short story reflects on these themes by having characters actively seek out the dreams that they wish for and succeed, creating a set of themes that make this story much deeper than it might seem. The story’s ability to create a magically realist atmosphere where dreams become reality is what gives it its charm. Thus, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World suggests that perception of perfection, a dream or an ambition creates a clear path for one to transform and reach their own notion of perfection. Marquez manages to demonstrate this statement by showing the characters a deity-like idol, by demonstrating that its surreality is tenable and by leading the villagers to reach the same level as the idol. Firstly, as they find his body, the villagers have reason to assume that Esteban is an image of perfection, dreamlike and seemingly more than human. This is perfectly demonstrated when the narrator describes his body, his effect on the environment and his effect on the people of the village. His body is described as being incredibly tall and muscular, while his face…show more content…
As the villagers became aware of the fantastic life that Esteban might’ve left, they created an idea of the life that Esteban lead, and transformed their own life to fit this dream of theirs. The story thus teaches us that past idols are necessary to achieve the rank of an idol yourself, as envy is not but a
Open Document