What the Deal is

Dear Reader,

This website is a composition of various analyses of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” from my perspective.  Below are some other tidbits of writings pertaining to my Eng 170w class.  On deciding which short story I wanted to pursue, I knew that I wanted to do something strange and out of my comfort zone so as to challenge myself.  Still, there is content in “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” whose meaning is still unclear to me.  This page has been a progressive development of an array of thoughts and ideas on my chosen short story.  Marquez’s story is a myth-like tale of a village’s discovery of a magnificent dead man washed up at sea, and the drastic change he inspires in them as a whole.  Marquez’s tale is one of magic and reality.  The changing of a village, the discovery of its identity, and the worshipping of their “hero”.

To find the magic realism in Marquez’s “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, I wanted to first speculate about the place in which the plot unfolds.  Having read several of Marquez’s works, I know that he always writes about a village called “Macondo”.  It is the setting for much of his fictional works and the village is Marquez’s own fabrication, but Macondo is also based on the history of his hometown, Aracataca, Colombia.  Aracataca is a river town in the Carribbean region of Colombia.  In Marquez’s works Macondo is a mythical place, in which people live to be more than a hundred years old, babies are born with pig tails, old men with wings drop from the sky, and lovesickness is an actual illness.  It seems appropriate that a town like this may also see a man the size of a sperm whale and amazing beauty. I could not help but think that Marquez intended this village to be the setting for his short story.  So, if Macondo is magical itself, and the handsome dead man is larger than humanly possible, has the power to affect nature and an entire village, it is also befitting to call Marquez’s story a myth.

Upon reading “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, I am bombarded by visual images, smells, and sounds in Marquez’s words.  His vivid use of imagery is apparent throughout the story and it allows the reader to get a sense of the reality in it.  In addition to the mentioned analyses, there are a few other pieces of literary interpretation including a slideshow presentation in which I present Marquez’s story as having mythical content and structure.  Through the creation of this website,  I have broadened the number of literary techniques known to me as well as combined them in order to mold my own interpretations of the text.  I established what worked for me when analyzing the story and presented it on my own terms.

While there are still some challenges I am facing in the technology area, I feel I have much progressing to do.  This website is not quite perfect, however, I feel the material is indicative to the interpretation I attempt to convey.  As a writer, I have learned to evaluate Marquez’s word-choice, the use of the omniscient narrator, and have learned to identify various writing techniques.  Mainly, the problems I encounter vary from web-related issues to the temporary inability to convert thoughts in my head to written form.  I sometimes find myself thinking many things, and not being able to write effectively.  It is temporary, of course; a minor, though tormenting setback.

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  1. Kevin L. Ferguson Said,

    December 22, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    Great website. I liked your idea to use subpages to keep everything better organized. Also–I think your conference presentation was really interesting; I like the mythemes you focused on. It seems to fit García Márquez’s style, but also makes me want to read the story again. As you point out, he seems to be a writer where you both want to pay attention to New Critical things like word choice, but also look at the narrative on a larger scale to see its mythemes.

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