The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship
-Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship Summary
The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship was written by Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez narrated by an omniscient narrator in a stream of consciousness technique, this story presents the growth of a weak and ordinary boy to a bold and assertive young man.
This story is an example of magic realism in which impossible ideas are expressed in such a way that they appear to be real this is written in the stream of consciousness technique using only one full stop throughout the story. The story writer presents his ideas in a complicated way. Therefore average readers find difficult to understand the text.
The small boy of the story used to go to the harbour in the night by taking permission from his mother. He would enjoy watching rotating lights in the sea that would fall upon in every 15 seconds.
In the month of March, a gigantic enormous ship appeared in the sea. The strange thing about the ship was that it would appear and disappear intermittently. It would disappear when the rotation light fell upon the sea and it would reappear upon the light shifted to another place. The boy was surprised when the ship slowly sank into the sea and broke into pieces without making any sound.
When the boy came there next morning he didn’t find any sign of the ship even the broken pieces. He could only see the radiant fishbowl, huts of the negros and boats of the smugglers He could not decide whether it was a dream or reality. Therefore, he didn’t tell about it to anyone.
The next March, the boy saw the same huge ship with the same mistaken direction. This time he was sure that he was awake. So he told his mother about it but she didn’t believe him.
She was unable to go to the city to bring a chair so that she could think about her dead husband sitting on it. Instead, she asked a boatman to look at it what the boy had seen. The boatman didn’t see any sign of the sunken ship either.
The boy was so stubborn that he made his mother promise to make her see the ship, next match. While thinking about her late husband sitting on the newly bought chair she had a heart attack. When the boy returned home in the evening, he found his mother was dead. Four other women of the village also died sitting on the same chair. Finally, the chair was thrown into the sea.
instead of living on public charity, the boy chose to live stealing fish from boats. He was pointed out as the son of a widow who had brought the evil chair into the village.
The next March he saw the same huge ship again. And he shouted madly. Dogs barked, women were frightened, and even the old men of the village hid themselves in fear. Those people who came to the boy to look at the ship left him beaten because they could see no ship. Instead of being defeated, the boy’s voice grew louder and bolder. He threatened the villagers saying now they are going to see who the boy was. In the absorption, he didn’t care the usual things he used to care about. He just waited for the next march, when he would be able to prove his matured strength and boldness.
When the time came he stole a boat, took a lantern, crossed the bay and waited for the ship. The lantern he was carrying was turned off so as not to draw the attention of the custom police. The ship arrived as he had expected it was big and dark. There were a lot of drowned animals floating on the water in the ship. With the flash of the beacon, it disappeared. No sooner had the light passed it appeared again. It was moving towards the wrong direction because it’s compass were out of orders. When the boy lighted the lantern, the ship corrected its course and began to follow the boy.
The animal corpses went to the bottom and the engine began to work again. It was a lucky resurrection of the ship. The boy was neither confused by emotion nor was he frightened by the miracle. He continued guiding the ship until he brought it into his village.
The entire village was illuminated by the light of the ship itself. The ship stroke on the ground, breaking the glasses in it. The ship was 97 times longer than the village, 20 times taller than steeple of the church and white than anything else in the world. Its name Halalcisillag was engraved in iron letters. The boy was pleased to see the disbelievers watching the ship.
Some Important Questions And Answers From “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship”
Question: Narrate the boy’s growth from immaturity and weakness to maturity and assertiveness. How is this process of gaining maturity and assertiveness linked with his encounter with the ghost ship?
Answer: The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship was written by Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez doesn’t have a plot in the usual sense. However, it has a kind of chronology of events that show the narrator’s growth from the time of weakness and immaturity to maturity and assertiveness.
The process of the boy gaining maturity is linked with his encounter with the ghost ship. Each imaginary encounter of the boy with the ghost ship adds maturity in the boy.
When the boy imagined of seeing the ship for the first time he wasn’t quite sure of its existence. So, he told no one about it.
The next march he imagined of seeing the same huge ship with the same mistaken direction. This time he was a bit more confident about the existence of the ship. So, he told his mother about it but she didn’t believe him.
In the third march, he saw the ship again and shouted madly. The villagers left him beaten for having been deceived. However, about the boy didn’t feel defeated instead his voice grew louder and roarer. This time he was so strong and confident that he challenged the villages in a threatening tone. He was even more determined to show them who he was.
In the fourth march, the boy not only imagined of seeing the ship but also imagined of controlling the movement of the ship and leading it to his village.
This time he was matured and confident enough to have control of his private vision. Thus, the more time the boy imagined of seeing the ghost ship, the stronger and more assertive he becomes. So, each imaginary encounter of the boy with the ghost ship contributes to his maturity and assertiveness.
Question: The story “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship” is written in the stream of consciousness style. On the basis of the story, what are some of the chief features of this kind of writing? What themes are especially appropriate to this kind of writing? What subjects would resist treatment in this style?
Answer: Stream of consciousness style is one of the models of narrating a story.
In this style, the thoughts processes of the characters are x-rayed by an omniscient narrator. In this technique, the spoken thoughts and unspoken thoughts, dreams and everyday realities, memories, and expectations and random association mingle up together. There is a blurring of the distinction between subject and object.
Dreams, expectations and thoughts process of the characters can be narrated using this style of narration but the scientific details and concrete realities of everyday life cannot be narrated it in the style.
Some Important Questions From “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship”
- What is the significance of the repetition of words “Now they are going to see who I am…”?
- How does the boy prove his maturity at the end in “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship”?
- The story “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship” is about the maturity, consciousness of the boy rather than the appearance and disappearance of the ship. Explain.
- What is the strangest thing about The Ghost Ship?
- Why did the boy have to prove who he was?
- What does the refrain of the boy “Now they are going to see who I am” mean?
- How does the nature of the boy change in the span of time from the first time he saw the ship to the time when he captures it in the story “The Last Voyage Of The Ghost Ship”?
- Narrate the story of a boy’s growth from an ordinary boy to an assertive young man.
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