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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, pl

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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, ...read more.


Only the narrator saw the true beauty of the giant and took it as a drowned giant human being. Ballard constantly emphasised the size and the beauty of the giant: "drowned leviathan", "largest sperm whale", "Grecian profile", "Roman copy of Praxiteles", "resemblances to monumental sculpture", "moribund colossus", "pearl-coloured skin", "enormous muscles", "massive composure", "delicate arches of the nostrils and eyebrows invested the face with an ornate charm that belied the brutish power of the chest and shoulders". All these phrases are describing the beauty and size of the giant. Clearly the narrator was the only one who recognised the compassion, beauty and humanity of the giant. The beauty and the giant was emphasised so many times by Ballard that the narrator of the story really saw the beauty and majesty of the giant and that the power, strength and vigour were still visible to him although the giant was dead. The size and beauty was mentioned constantly because to convey that the narrator really could not understand why the people were so blind that they could not see it. Only the narrator was to "touch the pendulous lobe" and searching the giant for answers of the world he came from and his backgrounds, but the crowd all scavenged all over. The reason why Ballard used the word "crowd" and not names of the people because the people were not behaving at all like individuals; rather, they were behaving like scavengers, because as soon as one person approaches the giant, they all do the same and sooner or ...read more.


No one dared to doubt their own knowledge or society, and rejects faith and change even though they see it everyday with their own eyes. In absolute contrast, 'Esteban' in Marquez's story has found "a father and mother from among the best people, and aunts and uncles and cousins, so that through him all the inhabitants of the villages became kinsmen." Marquez also significantly described this as the drowned man had so great power over these simple men that he united they as one family. At last when they finally let the dead body go, the village people even took him as an absolute alive being: "so that he could come back if he wished and whenever he wished". The drowned giant was treated like God as he made the village changed from now on: "wider doors, higher ceilings, stronger floors", etc, etc. Referring back to the theme, the drowned giant in Marquez's story brought a hundred percent change, as he gave the people the power to imagine and motivation. He deserved to be treated as God as society needs something to have faith in, otherwise, nothing will motivate, inspire and give hope. Here, 'Esteban', "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" brought change faith and hope to the once simple, small and poor society. In this essay, I have compared the different types of language choices and how they conveyed their two similar plots but extremely different respective themes. ...read more.

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