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Posted on April 27th, 2014, by

This paper is meant to analyze the short story The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and to explain what the author accomplishes with magical realism in this account. And the thesis of this paper is: Through the literary impact of magical realism, the drowned handsome man comes to symbolize all the beauty of life to the villagers.

It is so simple for people to be satisfied with the status quo. It is easy not to work too much, not to care enough to obtain more. To be simply satisfied is tempting; it does not presuppose any work. And then, there are individuals who avoid the easy ways at all costs. They are always fighting for something better, bigger and more difficult. In Marquez’s account this person is Esteban who inspires all villagers.

In fact, Esteban himself does nothing impressive in the account. The magical part of the narrative is the way people add a personality to the corpse. Esteban becomes so deeply part of the villager’s lives that he becomes more real than the living individuals in the story, who do not even have own names. Only Esteban possesses strong and influential individuality and personality. The lives of females and males alter due to the wonderful corpse. They make the homes grander. They plant new flowers. They believe the passengers on the cruise ships notice them now as the village was the residence of Esteban for some time (Marquez).

When you think about it, nothing improbable occurs in this account. A dead corpse washes up on shore, and people decide to hold a funeral for the man. Yet there are magical elements to be discovered in this extremely realistic place. The dead person appears, somehow, to be enormous, outstanding, the creature from another reality or time period. And the citizens, rather than suspiciously decline this possibility as extremely idealistic, are accepting this idea. At times, in genuine world, fantastic things occur. And that is exactly what is so amazing about the magical realism: the fantastic is embedded into the possible. For instance, the entire surrounding of the village appears to be magically changed by the dead person’s appearance, and yet the author keeps reminding us that it is Wednesday. The day of the week is something readers may relate to; it is normal and it is part of the ordinary world. Thus, with the help of mythical impact of magical realism, the drowned handsome man becomes a symbol of all the beauty in life.

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