The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World and Other Stories

Nuance in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World"

In a benumbing world, devoid of much refreshment, a felicitous moment in time can unite people in a cohesive bond and rejuvenate the world. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” weaves this idea masterfully. He does not use grandiose foretelling statements that march the reader right to the message, but beautiful poetic subtlety and tone. Marquez entices the reader to accompany him on the simplest of paths and offers the reader an alternately divine, yet real world. When the destination is reached, it is the seeds sewn within Marquez’s restraint that blossom into multi-faceted nuances.

It would be difficult to discuss the story without the use of Marquez’s words because it is his words that evoke the magic that is the story. “Marquez is famous for his ability to . . . bring the dead to life, and to make even the cruelest fates a matter of course – all with utmost fluidity and believability” (Delbanco and Cheuse 538). Marquez portrays death as a visual aspect of the plot, characterized by the drowned body of a stranger that has arrived on the shores of a small coastal village. When “Wednesday[’s] dead body” “wash[es] up on the beach,” the main character is first revealed to the village children...

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