Different Themes Presented In two "Drowned Men" Stories.
A "drowned man" is a character in different kinds of stories. In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" and James Graham Ballard's "The Drowned Giant", two "drowned men" are used as the protagonists. (Both are also published in the 1960s.) (Wikipedia, 2013) They seem to have more similarities than differences. Even though the settings and plots of the two stories are similar, the people in the two stories give completely different responses. Analyzing the stories and the reactions of the people towards the "suddenly-appeared" creatures, the focus of this paper is to see whether the two stories strike differences in their respective themes. .
Both stories have changed the behavior of the villagers, but in an opposite direction. In "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World", the villagers (men and women) are amazed by the exotic appearance of the drowned man and they finally change their mind to make their poor village become better and better. As in the story, "they also knew that everything would be different from then on, that their houses would have wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors" and "they were going to paint their house fronts gay colors to make Esteban's memory eternal and they were going to break their backs digging for springs among the stones and planting flowers on the cliffs". But in "The Drowned Giant", the drowned giant seems to have no effect on the village as the drowned man did in "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World". The villagers even damage or amputate the body of the drowned giant, "a foul smell enveloped the cadaver, "the undisguisable signature of putrefaction, which had at last driven away the usual gathering of youths", these few lines have shown that the dead drowned giant was being insulted and hurt by the villagers and he doesn't a positive effect which is not of the same function as the handsome drowned man.