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The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World And The Drowned Giant

2338 words - 9 pages

Write a comparison of The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World and
The Drowned Giant, commenting in detail on the ways in which the
authors' use language to convey their respective themes.

"The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
and "The Drowned Giant" by J.G. Ballard are both short stories written
with similar plots but explore extremely different themes. In this
essay I am going to compare the theme, plot, setting, language choices
and stylistic effects between the two short stories and how all these
relate back to theme itself.

The themes of the stories are totally different. They are both about
how societies react to the external world and exotic things, but the
meanings are exactly opposite. In Marquez's story, an exotic drowned
giant was found on the beach next to a poor, small village, but soon
accepted into their homes and loved by the people with respect and
pride. Since the village men had no knowledge to anything beyond their
small area of nearby villages, their horizons were extremely narrow
and had never seen such a beautiful man before, so he was treated as
God and even gave him identity and buried him in the nicest way they
could offer. Because of the large drowned man, the village men had
realized the ugliness of their own society and how simple and plain
lives they lived. The drowned man here brought inspiration and change
to the village with no ambition, no dreams and no knowledge about the
outside world-and motivated them, bringing 'colour' to their lives and
making them realize how simple, plain and uncivilized they lived and
gave them faith and hope and inspiration to a brighter future and a
way to civilize themselves and their society. In contrast, in
Ballard's story, the theme is completely different. A gigantic,
enormous giant the size of a ship had appeared next to the city but
also on the beach. The giant was much huger in size compared to
Marquez's story, but he was never accepted into the society. The
crowds of people, except for the narrator never believed in what they
saw and took him as some joke and amusement. The crowds took no
respect to the giant and climbed all over him and destroyed him. After
the excitement wore down, no one cared about him anymore and was left
there to rot. The giant was never accepted and was always treated as
an outsider and the people rejected any humanity of him. In this
story, the theme Ballard explored is that people in civilized places
see amazing things happening everyday, but it is always ignored and
prefers the old, lazy and boring life, no one prefers any change to
doubt their knowledge and society. Society needs something to have
faith in, to inspire us and give us hope, but in Ballard's story, the
change was rejected.

At the beginning of the story, the settings of the two stories are
very similar, but tell different details on the setting. Marquez
described the first children who found out about the...

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