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The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World


by Gabriel García Márquez

The Drowned Man Timeline and Summary

  • The drowned man approaches the shore from the sea.
  • The children playing first think he is a ship, and then a whale, and do not realize he is a man until they pick the seaweed and shells off his body.
  • They play with burying him.
  • The drowned man is carried to the nearest house; the men notice how heavy his body is and surmise that he must have gotten water into his bones.
  • The women work to clean off his body. They soon decide that he is the handsomest, strongest, and greatest man in the world, and that their husbands are inadequate by comparison.
  • The drowned man is given the name "Esteban."
  • When the men return from their trip, they, too, agree with the woman's assessment of Esteban and the name "Esteban."
  • While they prepare for the burial, the villagers fantasize about what the drowned man's life must have been like.
  • They are certain that he would be have been embarrassed of his huge size and the inconvenience it caused those around him, and even now, the hassle it's causing the villagers in trying to bury his huge body.
  • The drowned man is given an honorary family and a beautiful funereal ceremony.
  • He is thrown over the cliffs and back into the sea.