The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

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"The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" () is a 1968 short story by Gabriel García Márquez.


One Sunday morning, the village children find a seaweed covered body on the beach. They play with it until the adults discover the corpse and decide that it must be given a small funeral and thrown off the cliff which their village rests, into the sea as they do with all dead bodies. In order to do so, however, they must clean the corpse before it can be given final rest. The village men carry the body up to the village so that the village wives can prepare it for the funeral, then go to neighboring villages to ask if the man was from there. Upon removing the sea plants from his face, they discover his handsome face.The women of the village become attached to him and dream of the wonderful villager he could have been. Eventually, they name the man Esteban, to give him some sort of identity. At once they realize his physical qualities and translate how his personality must have been. The women believe that he could perform in one night what their husbands could not in the course of their lives. This leads to a postmortem development of his character. The stranger’s body is quite tall, and his face is humble with a firm jaw. Thinking of how he must have had to stoop to enter doorways and how he must have felt uncomfortable in small chairs makes the women feel pity and sympathy for the man who had not uttered a word. They dress him in a hand-sewn suit of bridal...
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