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The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World


by Gabriel García Márquez

The Women

Character Analysis

We know more about the women of the village than we do about the men, simply because we spend more time in their perspective. Much of the characterization of the drowned man comes form the women. That is, it isn't the drowned man being characterized as much as the women's idea of the drowned man that is described. They are the ones who see his physical prowess and then imagine his character. They imagine the life he would have led, and the way he might have fit into their village. And it is the women who give to the drowned man the name of Esteban. Therefore (if you've read "Symbols, Imagery, Allegory"), it is the women who recognize the drowned man as a mythical figure.

But it is also the women who, shortly after, recognize the drowned man as a human as well as a mythic being. In fact they become so emotional at his funeral because they have realized that now he is one of them, rather than some otherworldly creature.

Both the women and men of the village are transformed and inspired in the same way by the drowned man. They see in themselves the potential for greatness, because they have been singled out as "Esteban's village." At the end of the story, men and women are united in their common vision, and they vow to become worthy of that privilege.

The Women Timeline