Discuss the mortal flaw in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World."

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The title character of "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" is named Esteban by the ladies of the village where he has washed ashore. It would seem his worst flaw is his size. He is absolutely huge compared to the villagers, and they marvel over his size as they prepare his body for his funeral.

They could not find a bed in the village large enough to lay him on nor was there a table solid enough to use for his wake. The tallest men's holiday pants would not fit him, nor the fattest ones' Sunday shirts, nor the shoes of the one with the biggest feet.

The women think of what his life would have been like and how his surroundings would have have been quite different than their own in order to accommodate his immense size.

They thought that if that magnificent man had lived in the village, his house would have had the widest doors, the highest ceiling, and the strongest floor, his bedstead would have been made from a midship frame held together by iron bolts, and his wife would have been the happiest woman.

They begin to pity him for how he must have had to avoid sitting down whenever he would go to visit someone for fear of breaking the host's chairs.

His heels raw and his back roasted from having done the same thing so many times whenever he paid a visit, don't bother, ma'am, I'm fine where I am, just to avoid the embarrassment of breaking up the chair.

They imagine he had to turn sideways to get through doorways and would have hit his head on the ceiling beams in every house because of his height. Despite his beauty and the fact that all the villagers admired him, his size made it difficult for the villagers to even provide him with clothes that would fit. They imagine that he must have been looked down upon for his size during his life by the people he was around. The villagers believed that Esteban must have been made fun of by his acquaintances: "The ones who later on would whisper the big boob finally left, how nice, the handsome fool has gone."

It is the act of imagining that this man has been ostracized because of his size that makes the villagers feel true sadness over his death, because it makes him seem more real to them. While his size might have been seen as a flaw to those who were around him in life, it is his size that impresses the villagers and ultimately makes them decide to change their entire village to honor his memory.

But they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban's memory could go everywhere without bumping into beams and so that no one in the future would dare whisper the big boob finally died, too bad, the handsome fool has finally died, because they were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make Esteban's memory eternal. . .

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