| Quote #1
The first children who saw the dark and slinky bulge approaching through the sea let themselves think it was an empty ship. (1)
Márquez places us in the point of view of the isolated village right off the bat. We don't know what the mysterious object is until the children do.
| Quote #2
The village was made up of only twenty-odd wooden houses that had stone courtyards with no flowers and which were spread about on the end of a desertlike cape. (3)
The village appears to be entirely ordinary. This is contrasted with the rather extraordinary arrival of the drowned man.
| Quote #3
They noticed that the vegetation on him came from faraway oceans and deep water and that his clothes were in tatters, as if he had sailed through labyrinths of coral. (3)
That the drowned man is foreign to the village is an important aspect of the story.