Symbolism in “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”
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In the story “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is easy to see that the corpse of the drowned man could have symbolized several things, but after reading about the author the corpse takes on a deeper meaning. In the short biography about the author it states “He became famous when he was almost forty after years of feeling “like an extra thinking “that he didn’t count anywhere”. Stephen the corpse when alive might have felt like the author felt, and when he washed a shore he was than appreciated like the author. I think Stephen also symbolized a legacy because until Stephen washed a shore they had little houses, the landscape was dry. Than because of Stephen they would make bigger houses, paint them bright colors, plant roses around the cliff all to remember Stephen. Other symbols can be the roses on the cliff how they describe the captain coming down from the bridge. And also in the author biography they talk about him creating a Latin American identity so with the paint of the houses bright colors and the flowers on the cliff is that what he was creating.
I believe the corpse symbolizes a better life for all the people in the small village. He inspired them to do things to make the community better that they would have not done on their own. Before he washed up on shore, the town was made of little houses, “small” people, a dry landscape. After they put his body to the sea, everyone decided to make bigger houses, paint them bright colors, and plant roses in the cliffs so that when ships passed by, the people on them would, at least for a moment, have a picture of a brighter life as well. So that those people would know that though they were out at sea in the middle of nowhere, not to lose hope for the future, to keep in mind the happier parts of life.
To me the corpse of the drowned man symbolize beauty. This dude was a huge muscular peice of work. Nobody had ever seen somebody that big. Plus he was a very handsome man. The look in his face told the villagers a story. The village woman thought about this man in so many different ways. That’s beauty. I think that the women were supporting symbols in the story. They looked at the man in such a deep way. The woman made the man look nice. They set him up with a new set of pant. They covered him with flowers and gifts before he was set off again. Maybe the Man helped the villagers see beauty in diversity.
Or maybe it helped them personify their most cherished human qualities; inspiring them to model those qualities and create a village that would reflect honored characteristics. Because they saw the beauty they wanted to see in Esteban, they developed a role model that suited their needs as a developing people, one in which they could respect and emulate. Having a reason to be better is a part of human nature, like Gods, Saints, etc. Esteban became the reason.