Books and Movies Reviews

The Life A Corpse Brought Them

According to Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil." Gabriel Garcia Marquez discusses how death can inevitably bring life in this short story.In his other works, Marquez is known for writing about extraordinary events that provoke the reader's imagination.This is no less true in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." When a ragged corpse washes up on shore, the nature of a small Latin village is changed forever.The author's use of symbolism through the transformation of the cadaver and "Esteban's" size contribute to his characteristic style of magical realism.
"Garcia Márquez’s relentless insistence on his measureless appetite for life–or rather Life, a word and a concept that he invokes with Zorba-like self-infatuation, he constantly juxtaposes with its nemesis, Death" (Valiunas). What many may see as a grim reality and the distinct end to one's being, Marquez actually portrays death as the bringer of hope and rebirth to others and their surroundings.While many would ordinarily overlook this man that smelled of the sea and "was covered with a crust of mud and scales" (Marques 247), the people of this fisherman's village took him in.His original state was such a disgrace that the women proceeded to "…remove the underwater stones entangled in his hair, and they scraped the crust off with tools used for scaling fish" (Marquez 248).Now that he was clean they could view him in all his magnificence.Although the women of the village knew "Esteban" was from
somewhere far away just by his physical differences, the commonality of a corpse washing up on shore brought to them a sense of nostalgia.Their perceived relationship between the dead man, whom they called ;Esteban; and their own husbands, moves them to give him special care and a splendid b

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