International Inspiration

I have just recently completed a short story masterpiece, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, written by the Colombian writer and journalist, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The one thing throughout this short story that I admired the most was the reaction and acceptance of the village people. I always knew that I was not the only one who believed that we, as human beings, should accept all other human beings, even including strangers to our own societies, as we would to our neighbors. I have grown up in a life with a very different type of people, dealing with discrimination, strong criticism, and judgement that includes death, violence, and exile. I have always secretly craved societal peace, with welcoming people such as the villagers of this Latin American Cape.

If it were the people of my community who found this dead man washed up upon the shores, they would most likely ignore it, thinking maybe the pour soul had died for a good reason, and then maybe pray to feel better about themselves. If not, then they may just discard of the body even more so, after thinking of a good enough reason to. However, the people of this story halted their daily lives and took the corpse into the community to care for properly. They cleaned the corpse, handmade respectable clothing for him, claimed him as their own, and held a proper funeral. This place that Marquez has created filled with people of peace and acceptance is a place that I have only dreamed heaven to be like, if there really is one. Marquez has successfully proved to me that I am clearly not the only one who can sympathize with ‘others.’ I hope others are just as inspired by these international natives of peace, just as they are inspired to actually grow bigger because of Esteban.
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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

3 thoughts on “International Inspiration

  1. Man I wish we had that kinda acceptance around these neighborhoods. The discriminatin just needs to come to an end already. I work just as hard as the next white man, whats the big deal about my skin color…. i'm no different. Maybe you should take a trip out to my area mr. Hawthorne and try'n teach them white folks a lesson on how to treat people…..

  2. Columbia is a heretical place in the new world filled with heathen witchcraft and disloyalty to the good King. Perhaps the children who found this man were mesmerized by the evil nature of his being… I can only wonder what strange power generated such admiration. Acceptance of every man of any good nature and breeding is a given in a civilized society. Accepting a stranger as one's kin; this I cannot imagine. The women of this clan were entirely immature and taken by this monster and unable to see the devil for what he sent. May God have mercy on their poor ignorant souls.

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