The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The most if not all the works written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez are written in the genre of magical realism. A short story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is not an exception. The plot is very simple, but at the same time, it is similar to a plot of some fairytale. The character of magnificent Esteban is similar to an angel or the old man with wings from a short story titled “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. The magic of Esteban lies in his ability to make the villagers better people. When he was returned to the sea, the people changed and became more joyful and satisfied with their life. The people and the life in the village is described realisticall with all the poverty and hardships of the villagers. However, the event which takes place can be understood from the point of view of magical realism, because logic would be irrelevant here.

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If to compare these two short stories, it should be noted that “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” examines the subjective human response when an angel comes to town. Pelayo, a town bailiff, discovers the old man with wings struggling in the courtyard of his home after a storm. The visitor seems disappointingly ordinary and human, despite his extraordinary appearance and because he does not add up to the townspeople's expectations, they are incapable of understanding him.

However, after Pelayo's neighbor “who knew everything about life and death” saw him she immediately recognizes him as an angel. After her unjustified assumption, the whole town believes that he is indeed an angel. The way in which people react to different circumstances is mainly connected to the concept of subjectivity. For instance, the people in the story immediately believe that there is an angel at Pelayo's courtyard based on the assumption of a woman who apparently knows everything about life and death. Furthermore, the way people react on various circumstances is highly effected by the reasoning and subjective thoughts of others.

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