A Comparison of “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” and “Nobody Ever Dies”
This paper is devoted to the analysis of two short stories by the prominent Hispanic writers Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Ernest Hemingway. The first story, “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”, was written by Marquez and published in 1968. The second story, “Nobody Ever Dies”, was written by Hemingway and published posthumously in 1986. These stories have several similarities and differences, which will be discussed further in this paper.
2. “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Marquez
“The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” is a typical Marquez story in that it is set in a small town in an unspecified Latin American country and revolves around the magical events that take place there. In this story, a dead body washes up on the shore of a small fishing village. The villagers take him to be a drowned man who has been swept out to sea by a storm. However, they soon realize that he is not just any drowned man, but the handsomest drowned man they have ever seen.
As the story progresses, the villagers begin to imagine what life would be like if such a handsome man were alive. They give him a name, Esteban, and start to build him a house. They even hold a funeral for him, during which they mourn his death and celebrate his life. This story culminates with the villagers realizing that Esteban is not really dead, but is instead alive and well in their imaginations.
This story is representative of Marquez’s style of writing, which often blends elements of magic realism with social commentary. In this case, the magical elements are used to comment on the way that people idealize others who are different from them. The villagers in this story create an idealized version of Esteban, one who is more handsome and loving than any real person could ever be. In doing so, they ignore his flaws and focus only on his positive qualities. This ultimately leads them to neglect their own lives and families in favor of Esteban’s imaginary world.
3. “Nobody Ever Dies” by Hemingway
“Nobody Ever Dies” is a very different kind of story than “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”. It is set in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and revolves around an American expatriate named Francis Macomber who has come to fight for the Republican side. Macomber is coward who runs away from combat when he is faced with enemy fire. He is also cheating on his wife Margaret with another woman named Wilson.
After Macomber flees from combat, he tries to make up for his cowardice by going on a hunting trip with Wilson. However, he ends up getting killed by Wilson after she tricks him into thinking she is going to shoot him herself. Wilson then lies to Margaret and tells her that Macomber was killed by a lion instead of revealing what really happened.
This story is representative of Hemingway’s style of writing, which often deals with themes of death and violence. In this case, Hemingway uses death as a way to comment on the nature of courage and cowardice. He suggests that cowardice is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, as it is something that everyone is capable of. However, he also suggests that there is a difference between being a coward and being a coward who denies his cowardice. Macomber is the latter kind of coward, and it is this denial that leads to his death.