Study Guide

The Men in The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

By Gabriel García Márquez

The Men

The men are absent for the first half of the story while they're out trying to see if the drowned man came from a neighboring village. When they come back, they're largely skeptical of the drowned man's greatness, unlike the women, who are now completely obsessed with the drowned man. We might anticipate conflict or jealousy – especially when "the men begin to feel mistrust in their livers" (10) – but it doesn't take long before they are as caught up as the women with the beauty and sincerity of the handsome drowned man.

It's interesting that the men know the drowned man to be Esteban without being told by the women. We see that the community shares their myths as part of a common cultural heritage. If the drowned man is Esteban for the women, then due to myths commonly held to be true, he is Esteban for the men, too. Because of this, the men are affected the same way the women are by his arrival. They, too, are forever changed by the end of the story. The vision of the captain looking over to their village doesn't come from any specific person or group – it is the common vision of the entire village, which together has vowed to become worthy of Esteban.