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How A Single Man Unintentionally Changed A Civilization

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Nathan S. Chidester


ENG102 - 6:30 p.m. W


How A Single Man Unintentionally Changed A Civilization

You can see throughout actual history that there have been great and terrible leaders that have not just changed a culture's history, but even the world.

In the story of The Handsomest Drowned Man In The World, you can see firsthand that this can be true. Even though this story is thought to be a fictional story about a man from a faraway place, who washed ashore in a barren landscape. In the third paragraph, second and third sentences:

"The village was made up of only twenty-odd wooden houses that had stone courtyards with no flowers and which were spread about on the end of a desertlike cape. There was so little land that mothers always went about with the fear that the wind would carry off their children..."

This only means, like what I have said before, that the land was barren - most of their food came from the sea. It also says that food was hard to come by in the area and their height and built was caused by their malnourishment. We can actually look back in our actual history and see that our ancestors were smaller - both in height and also built - due to what they had available to eat and also their typical working conditions. This also proves that this location is nothing near what we consider civilized.

This man infatuated the people, who paid close attention to every detail - which included his hair and clothing. They treated him with compassion and with open-arms, even in death. The women of the village cleaned his body, made him clothes, and prepared his body for an honorable "burial."

Also, it sounds like the author was trying to make the point that this man was, well-equipped and also beautiful compared to the men of the village. For example, in the fourth paragraph:

"Fascinated by his huge size and his beauty...they [the women] sewed [clothing for the man], sitting in a circle and gazing at the corpse between stitches..."

The society was a "man's-world," meaning that the women of the village were below the men; the women would stay home taking care of the home and children, while the men were out fishing and doing other "masculine" things. The women, found nothing but good in this man, they never heard a single word or seen a single action from this man but they used their imaginations - or one could think their dreams - of what this man was like.

Just like the women, our minds always wander about thing like this--our minds always try to fill-in the missing pieces--this would include the past lives of the deceased. A great example is archeology, we try to figure out what civilizations did during their lifetimes, which most of the time is an educated guess - we will never know for sure. We can find an object and believe that it was a tool, when in actuality it was part of an instrument. A great example for that is in the movie How High, when one of the main characters finds a canon-looking object from Benjamin Franklin collection, when it was actually a bong.

We also, try to make our memories seem like they weren't so bad. This would include other's lives. For example, think back to a situation that happened, even five years ago. Almost every time, a person will make the story sound like you were the victim or not a fault, and the other was the villain or cause of the problem.

The women of the village made stories, in their minds, about this man. Many believed that he suffered from being a freak, having to walk through "small" doors or "low" ceilings. The women felt sorry for the man, when possibly, the man was considered normal in his land.

There were many symbolic parts of the story. This



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