The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
Men and Masculinity Theme
Masculinity is narrowly defined in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." Size, strength, and attractiveness are all synonymous with masculinity in this story. However, non-physical traits like compassion, humility, leadership, and modesty are also associated with the notion of what it means to be a man. The highest ideal of masculinity is shared and admired equally by both men and women in this story.
Questions About Men and Masculinity
- What values are decidedly "masculine" in this story? Which are "feminine?"
- Whom does the drowned man's arrival effect more – the men of the village, or the women?
- What qualities make the drowned man seem so manly? Who determines what these qualities are?
Chew on This
"The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" operates on principles of archaic gender divisions; it is not relevant in the modern world.