Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The Handsomest Drowned Man

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses the treatment of strangers in his stories to point out that many characters are treated based on their physical appearances, even if we never discover their true personalities. In Marquez’s short story, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World,” the character that the story is based around is a very attractive man, but we are not aware of his personality or even his name, but people still seem to admire him because of his physical traits. “Fascinated by his huge size and beauty, the women then decided to make him some pants from a large piece of sail so that he could continue his death with dignity. As they sewed, sitting in a circle and gazing at the corpse between stitches, it seemed to them that the wind had never …show more content…
Having Esteban washed up on shore, being stolen from the sea subtly shows that just about everyone, humans or not, is aware of Esteban’s greatness by his size and beauty. However, Gabriel Garcia Marquez doesn’t use just beauty to describe characters. In the story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” the old man, who is supposedly an angel, is shown to be old, tattered, worn down, and almost seems to be nothing like an angel. “His only supernatural virtue seemed to be patience. Especially during the first days, when the hens pecked at him, searching for the stellar parasites that proliferated in his wings, and the cripples pulled out feathers to touch their defective parts with, and even the most merciful threw stones at him, trying to get him to rise so that they could see him standing. The only time they succeeded in arousing him was when the burned his side with an iron for branding steers, for he had been motionless for so many hours that they though he was dead.” When Marquez uses the words “supernatural virtue,” it shows that the angel does indeed have supernatural abilities, but Marquez ends the description by saying the supernatural virtue is patience, which is not necessarily an abnormal or noticeable

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