In the short story The Handsomest Drowned Man in The World by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, we witness a spectacular discovery and a splendid funeral at a fictional village. The mood of the story alternates between playful (the children thought thinking they’d discovered an enemy ship or a whale), tense (fear of the wind, fear of who might be missing), and inspiring (the festivity of the funeral, the decorations, the meanings and values attributed to the drowned man). As you go through the story, consider how its plot, setting, characters, and symbols are tied together through figurative language (opens in a new tab).

Discussion Questions

  • What are the major events in this short story? (Plot)
  • Where does the story take place? (Setting)
  • Who is part of the story? (Characters)
  • Which symbols do you recognize? (Analysis)
  • What does the story mean to you? (Significance)