The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World tells the tale of a small fishing village. It’s a coastal, cliff-side town, a desert-like cape with no flowers, and so little land that the residents have to throw their dead over the cliffs and into the sea rather than bury them in the ground. The residents are a simple group of people, who believe in myths as strongly as what they see with their eyes. It's such a small village, that the all the men combined fit into seven boats, and there are only about twenty houses among them all. The village was interrupted by the arrival of a dead body washed up by the waves. This drowned man has a huge impact on the village, which is changed forever by his arrival.
The story explores what it means for a person to be great. Being great happens to be a dead man. Nonetheless, the dead man inspires others. We wonder what it is about these people that have such an effect on those around them. If we think about the people who inspire us – maybe friends, coaches, writers, film makers, heck, comedians or fictional characters, they get us to want even more. That admiration we have for them goes deeply in us and creates the desire for self betterment. Just like what the dead man’s impact on the villagers.
The drowned man is the focus of the tale; He is the focus of the title. The subtitle, a tale for children, however, is not so straightforward. There is the question “Is this really a tale for children?” The themes in the story are by no means childish or simple, and there are big ideas to be considered by everybody, by all ages. For me, the title is quite ironic; it may seem on the surface like a tale for children, but it's really not for children at all.
Myths are bedtime stories for children. The story is mythical. But there is another way to approach the title. It is to think about what the story has to say on the topic of mythology. On the other hand, all throughout history, the adult...