Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a magical tale called, "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, A Tale for Children." Even the village children had no idea what approached from the deep waters surrounding their small village. An enemy ship or whale perhaps? Imaginations ran wild as the enormous creature makes his way to shore. For he is not what anyone has imagined, but a man, of enormous proportions, who drowned at sea. Gabriel Garcia Marquez opens this story with a drowned man reaching the shore of a tiny island with very few residents. Children discovered the identity of the drowned beast after removing the debris from his face. They played with him all afternoon until the villagers became aware. Townsmen carried the stranger to the town center. Because of his implausible size, the men know he is not one of their own. The men of the village usually work nights at sea, but tonight is different. Tonight they set off to find the stranger's origin. Women of the village stayed behind to take care of the man. They began to clean him, removing mud and crust from his face. An emotional wave ran through the women as they removed items from his face. Who was he, and where did he come from absorb their thoughts. The drowned man becomes a symbolic artifact for the village and it's people.
Marquez begins with symbolism with the subtitle, "A Tale for Children," (1465) when in fact it is not. I believe this subtitle is a representation of adults who wish to be someone or somewhere else in life. Children represent only the beginning of the story as they play with the drowned man. I find it reasonable for children to make believe the man is, an "enemy ship" (1466) or a "whale." (1466) This suggests only the playfulness of our adult imaginations. Most children will not play with a dead person. From the beginning, the stranger represented a unique quality of strength and proportion. Women of the village carefully cleaned the corpse washing away the mask that hides his identity.