The Handsomest Drowned Man sample essay
The story begins with several children playing on the beach. That pretty much suffices for They see an abnormal looking bulge in the ocean. They try and guess anything that it might be until it washes up shore and they realize it’s a drowned man. The children, being children, start to play with the body until an adult spots the new toy and lets the rest of the village know. The men of the town carry the body to the nearest house and talk about how heavy he is. Since the body was in the ocean for so long, they figured it was the water that went to his bones.
In their small fishing community, there is such little space around that dead bodies are not buried, but thrown over the cliffs and into the ocean. Since the village is so small, the men look around to see that none of them are missing, and automatically know that the dead man is a stranger. That night, the men of the village go around to other towns to seek a better idea of where he might’ve come from. The women stay behind to clean the ocean’s waste off the body.
As they clean him off, the women notice that he comes from somewhere far away because the junk that they clean off isn’t a part of anything around their part of the world. When the drowned man is finally cleaned off, the women are left in awe because he is the biggest and tallest and most proud looking man they have ever seen. He’s so big that the women can’t find a bed big enough for him. They can’t find any clothes to fit him, so the women, sewed clothes for him from a sail. While they work on his clothing, the women feel like everything has changed because of their discovery.
They start to compare the dead man to their husbands in such a way that made their husbands seem like the worst choice they’ve ever made. The oldest woman in the group of women looks down at the drowned man and says he has the face of someone named Esteban. All of the other women agree right away. Later on after midnight, while the women watch the body being dragged along the ground, they start feeling pity for the drowned man because of his massive size which must have been a burden for him.
They thought about his life; and how he would have probably had trouble going through doorways, hitting his head on crossbeams, and not being able to find a chair sturdy enough to seat him. When the men come back and announce that none of the nearby villages can claim the dead body, the women get hyped up about the idea that he is now theirs. The men think their women are being ridiculous and just want to get this burial done as fast as possible. They make a type of stretcher to carry him to the cliffs. While the men rush to get the task done, the women try to waste time by covering the dead body up with other little items.
The men complain the entire time until the handkerchief uncovers the dead man’s face and they all stand there in awe about how handsome he is and know that he is “Esteban”. They thought the same thing about the man and how he must have had such a hard time moving his massive body around and how burden he was causing the villagers. So the villagers make a formal funeral. They go to villages around them to get flowers, and they choose for him honorary family members from their village, The women mourn so loud it steers the sailors off course.
As they carry his body to the cliff, the women are aware for the first time that everything they know doesn’t compare to the beauty of their drowned man. When they finally let the body go off the cliff, they don’t anchor it, so that he can come back if he wishes. The villagers realize that everything will be different from now on. They will make the best of their village and make it progress by building houses bigger and better, paint them bright colors, and plant flowers on their cliffs so that future sailor’s going by will see and smell them, and they will know that it’s “Esteban’s Village”.
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