"The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" explores the ways in which human beings overcome personal isolation through their collective community. In this story, common beliefs in the mythic or fantastic bring together the members of a small fishing village. The men, women, and children of this community are united by their common desire for self-improvement. Together, they imagine a better future for themselves, a future in which they are as extraordinary as the myths in which they all believe.
The drowned man brings the village together by providing them with a common goal of communal betterment.