The paper shows the story presented by Gabriel Garcia Marquez called “The Most Handsome Drowned Man in The World.” The narrator explains to writers that humanity has created an unhealthy romantic relationship with the surrounding world, and the quote “happily ever after” should not be the source of hope. The thesis states: “Prominently, metamorphosis is discussed in the narrative and plays an essential role in the plot’s development and creation of the moral of the story.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses strangers in his short stories to highlight how many characters are treated solely based on their physical appearance. The short story is about a drowned man whose body washes to shore near a remote village and whose appearance ultimately changes the villagers’ perceptions of life. The charming man is at the center of the short story “The Most Handsome Drowned Man in The World.” Readers do not know his personality or even his name, yet the villagers admire him based on his physical characteristics. Throughout the story, the idea of beauty as being in the eye of the beholder appears in numerous forms. Prominently, metamorphosis is discussed in the narrative and plays an essential role in the plot’s development and creation of the moral of the story.
In the novel, the idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder appears in several different forms. The characters’ perspectives on the drowned are entirely different throughout the story. The children first regard him as a whale, an enemy ship, and a toy. The grownups believe him to be deluged foreigner who has invaded their village. However, as the women clean him, they grow in wonder and eventually sympathy for him, naming him Esteban. The narrator gradually reveals this transformation through the characters’ behaviors, emphasizing how they begin to create a narrative and an identity for this stranger, growing to consider him as someone adored and magical.
The transformation is another recurring subject in “The Most Handsome Drowned Man in The World.” The drowned man in the story symbolizes a change in this particular society. As the story starts, the village itself is represented as dry, barren, and lifeless. On the arrival of the drowned man, the women are convinced that he is a person who can make flowers grow on cliffs (Marquez 538). The town’s idea of possibilities begins to burgeon as its imagination, admiration, and empathy for the drowned man blossom. The women imagine Esteban’s life and how he might have fit into the village.
By describing the beauty of the man, the writer shows the feelings and thoughts of people. Moreover, ‘transformation’ is a metaphor for the village as, in the beginning, it was dying, and people were confused about their future. However, the man’s beauty helped them inspire and mention positivity around them. Bell-Villada and Lopez-Calvo support the initial thesis as it describes the author’s motives and his life position.
The novel is filled with magical realism as the main plotline is surreal in its nature. Furthermore, certain aspects, such as dying village that is ignorant about their destiny, are unrealistic. Yet, it acts as a good metaphor for society or humanity in general, which can be on the decline, and be unaware of it. Therefore, such writing techniques are necessary to convey a message, fascinate the reader and move the plot.
It is worth noting that the narrator never implies that the locals were unhappy with the appearance of a drowning man.. Instead, the man’s unexplained presence gives the people a sense of possibilities that they did not have before. The drowned man’s oddity inspires them to create something they have never made before. Villagers believe in what may have been an unlikely future because Esteban appears unlikely. They are forced to confront the prospect of improbable events due to the man’s unusual character. Simultaneously, the transformation is due to the townspeople’s projections on the drowned man. He is a character that is never seen alive in the story, and his origins and arrival are both unknown. As a result, he acts as a blank canvas on which the townspeople might imprint their hopes and desires. Without having done anything, the drowned man acts as a catalyst to widen the villagers’ scope of transforming their location.
Bell-Villada and Lopez-Calvo explains the motives for writing many well-known masterpieces and helps explain the thesis more deeply and shows how the writer’s background history makes the morality in his various books. Gabriel Garcia Marquez has always been realistic in his ideas, and the spectrum of events is close to real-life (Bell-Villada and Lopez-Calvo 34). The writer thinks about the time frame in his works and tries to make them less chronicled but more fulfilled and clearer. For instance, the presentation of the magical realism of the author’s life is controversial in people’s thinking about the well-being of Latin America (Bell-Villada and Lopez-Calvo 2). In the middle of the primary source, the author states that people could be more fascinated by the beauty of the drowned man rather than the fact that the person is dead (Marquez 504). Marquez believes that reality differs from the fictional illusions people try to follow.
In conclusion, metamorphoses are vital for developing the plot and creating the story’s moral. Therefore, two focal themes play a prominent role in the story’s development. The idea that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder outlines that the way people view phenomena is interrelated to how they feel. How individuals yield or perceive life is entirely on their mindset. The creative acts of the villagers enhance the whole image of the village to be transformed. The story contends that value given to a stranger can enhance change in individuals, inspire them to better, and make them remarkable.
Bell-Villada, Gene H., and Lopez-Calvo, Ignacio. The Oxford Handbook of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Oxford University Press, 2021.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “The Most Handsome Drowned Man in the World.” An Introduction to Fiction. Eds. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. pp. 536-540
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