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Comparative analysis of Streetcorner Man and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World

  • Category: Literature
  • Subcategory: Books
  • Pages: 3
  • Words: 1172
  • Published: 27 March 2019
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What would a story be without setting multiple of emotions in between thrilling moments in a story? In most stories the way the author sets the tone and setting of the story can catch a reader’s attention, especially if it’s based in a fantasy style of real life places. With that being said, in the stories “Streetcorner Man” and “The Handsomest Man in the World” both authors throughout the story change their tone of writing to set the story to become more mysterious and suspenseful for the readers, which makes the readers be able to connect through telepathy. Both authors give the readers space to think and analyze the story for the characters and the events that take place without much explanation. That’s not all, both authors have chosen their words carefully, and the sentences are created with an intent. The two authors are clearly trying to make the story dynamic by going from being mysterious, too suspenseful and then to happiness.

In “Streetcorner Man” the authors opening sentence states an introduction to a character who doesn’t have much detail about themselves, which leads to set the tone of the story in mystery. Only the name of the character and what side of the city or town he’s from, “fancy you’re coming out and asking me, of all people, about the late Francisco Real”. Then he says, “he was a big shot on the Northside”. Also, the character that is telling the story has no name, except the name that Rosendo gave him, which is the name kid, “You’re always getting in the way, kid”.

And in the short story “The handsomest Drowned Man in the World” the author starts his opening sentence with not a name of the character, but with a description of what the children thought the drowned man was. He goes on and says that the children who saw the drowned man thought he was an enemy ship, then they noticed that this ship had no flags or tall upright posts, so they assumed it was a whale, when it got washed up on the shore and uncovered the body that was full of the dead sea creatures and the seas green seaweed, they then noticed it was a drowned man (Marquez 292). The drowned man doesn’t get a name until the ladies of the village all come to an agreement that his name should be Esteban, just because he had a face of an Esteban. This form of leaving characters with no names gives the story more light and importance to the event and gives focus on the characters purpose. Naming a character leaves room for the readers to focus on the characters features like, personality and other dimensions of a person. No naming characters creates the readers to think of what the purpose of the characters in the story is.

Secondly, in “Streetcorner Man” the author goes from light mystery to setting the story tone to suspense. He describes the event of the supposedly knife fight night from being,” fun, like in some type of dream” to shifting to silent, and someone pounding on the door, and a big voice calling out like it could be the cops. That part itself is suspenseful, but then it becomes more suspenseful when the now named character “the Butcher” the one who shouldered through the doors picks a fight with the most popular guy in Villa Santa Rita “Rosendo Juarez”. From that event it becomes furthermore fast moving when the main no name character hears crying of a women and a low voice of a man, “then that voice we all knew by then, but real low, almost too low, like somehow it didn’t belong to anyone anymore” . The character “kid” seems to know it’s the Butcher and the La Lujanera outside while the dance is going on in the dance hall. Both characters come through the doors of the dancehall, the Butcher has been stabbed with a knife through his chest , and everyone from the north side gang points fingers to the lady whom the butcher was with last. The tone of the story quickly changes to suspense to mystery again, no one really figured out who was the one who killed the Butcher because the cops were approaching the dancehall at the point that the room went silent. But then, at the end of the story we find out that the one who killed the Butcher was the character who was called kid, whos name was then revealed at the end as well as “Borges”. We know it was him because he says, “took my knife out again key word, indicating to the readers that it was him who killed the Butcher. “I turned the blade over, real slow. Good as new, innocent looking, couldn’t see the slightest trace of blood on it “. This part in the story was so almost like a telenovela scene, so powerful with the choice of words and yet so thrilling.

Then in “The Handsomest Drowned man in the World” the suspenseful part of the story was when one of the villagers spotted the children playing with the dead man and ran off to alarm the villagers (Marquez 292). In this piece of sentence, the author choice of changing the tone of the story from being mysterious to suspenseful was to get the readers to analyze why the villager was alarmed by the scene of the children playing with a drowned man. The children wouldn’t have been playing with one of their people’s dead body; to the villager it was an outsider, which needed the other villager’s attention, so they can send the dead body back to his village, to get laid to rest. Lastly, both stories end with happiness. One is more obvious than the other.

In “Streetcorner Man” at the end of the story the person telling the story, is excited to return home because he knows that the La Lujanera only goes for the biggest, boldest and bravest knife handler in the village, he knows she’s waiting for him at his shack, “a candle was burning in the window, then all at once went out. Let me tell you, I hurried when I saw that”. That sentence itself shows the excitement in the characters voice. On the other hand, in “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” the author ends the tone of the story with happiness. The villagers begin to see the world in a different perspective and appreciate the presence of the drowned man. From there and there forward they would build houses with wider doors, higher ceilings, and stronger floors so that Esteban’s memory could go everywhere and forever, for they would see beauty in the tallest or oddest person in the world.

To sum it all up, both authors change the tone of the story from mysterious, suspenseful to happy, to take the readers through a roller coaster of different emotions, but to also set the characters purpose and set the settings and events of the story.

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GradesFixer. (2019). Comparative analysis of Streetcorner Man and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World. Retrived from
GradesFixer. "Comparative analysis of Streetcorner Man and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." GradesFixer, 27 Mar. 2019,
GradesFixer, 2019. Comparative analysis of Streetcorner Man and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 8 July 2020].
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