Garcia Márquez's Short Story: The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World

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With its juxtaposition of ordinary details and extraordinary events, his short story "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" is an example of the style for which García Márquez is famous: magic realism.

In the story, the body of a drowned man washes up in a small, remote town by the ocean. As the people of the town attempt to discover his identity and prepare his body for burial, they discover that he is taller, stronger and more handsome than any man they have ever seen. By the end of the story, his presence has influenced them to make their own village and their own lives better than they had previously imagined possible.
From the beginning, the drowned man seems to take on the shape of whatever his viewers want to see. As his body approaches shore, the children who see him imagine he is an enemy ship. When they realize he has no masts and therefore can't be a ship, they imagine he might be a whale. Even after they realize he
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They tell themselves that "if that magnificent man had lived in the village … his wife would have been the happiest woman" and "that he would have had so much authority that he could have drawn fish out of the sea simply by calling their names." The real men of the village -- fishermen, all -- pale in comparison to this unrealistic vision of the stranger. It seems that the women aren't entirely happy with their lives, but they do not realistically hope for any improvement -- they just fantasize about the unattainable happiness that could have been delivered to them only by this now-dead, mythical stranger. But an important transformation takes place when the women consider how the drowned man's heavy body will have to be dragged across the ground because it is so large. Instead of seeing the benefits of his enormous strength, they begin to consider that his large body might have been a terrible liability in life, both physically and

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