In "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" by Gabriel Marquez, how does this story use magical realism? Also, explain how the village's treatment of the handsomest drowned man compare to the...

In "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" by Gabriel Marquez, how does this story use magical realism? Also, explain how the village's treatment of the handsomest drowned man compare to the villagers treatment of the old man in "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings."



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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World," Gabriel Marquez uses magic realism. Magic realism is the literary technique that applies fantasy to ordinary events.

Works of magic realism mingle realistic portrayals of ordinary events and characters with elements of fantasy and myth, creating a rich, frequently disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike.

In this story, it is an ordinary day in the community until the children find a dead man washed up on shore. The children are having fun burying him, digging him up, and reburying him. Although the day is ordinary, this man is far from ordinary. He is so big and tall and handsome, unlike the men who live in the area.

When the men and women learn of the drowned man, they take him to a house. The women begin sewing clothes for him for nothing the men own will fit him.

The magic and fantasy is in the mystery that surrounds the dead man's face. No one has any idea who he is or where he may lived. To make things even more interesting, the women begin planning a funeral for the drowned man. One of the local families adopts him as a relative. They mourn for him as if he is their son.

Things will never be the same in this community. Houses will have to be made larger and door ways taller in honor of Stephan. Yes, the local people name the drowned dead man. Obviously, this is the most exciting thing that has happened in long time.

The author's magic realism is evident in that the local community adopts a stranger as if he were their very own. The drowned man is worshipped because he is so big, tall and handsome. Ultimately, the people have a formal ceremony in honor of this drowned man. He creates an excitement and formality that is not a normal part of the village people's lives. For the few days he is with them, the village people have a fantasy fulfilled in that the most handsome man in the world has warmed their hearts. Everyone is in a dreamlike state, wishing the handsome man could stay longer.


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