The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1 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?
OR, Narrate the story of the boy’s growth from an ordinary boy to an assertive young man?
“The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship” narrates a boy’s growth from a weak child to a mature, assertive young man. This is linked with his encounters with the ghost ship. The boy’s nature change in the span of time from the first time he saw the ship to the time when he captures it.
When he saw the ship for the first time, he was a small boy. He was not sure about it and thought it was only a dream. He grew up a bit more after a year. Then he told his mother about it and she agreed to watch it with him the following year. But she died. People started hating him. He did not want charity, so he stole fish from the boat and sold them. One year he shouted seeing the ghost ship and the villagers beat him badly. Then he made a strong decision to capture the ghost ship anyhow. Anger and isolation made him fearless. He took a boat, went to the sea and waited for the ship. When it appeared, he followed it. When it disappeared as the light from the lighthouse fell on it, he lit a lantern and saw the ship again. He used the lantern to guide the ship, which then followed him. Finally, he took it to the shore and proved its existence to the villagers.
As a small boy, he could not prove the existence of the ship. But as he grew up, he was capable to use intelligence to capture the ship and prove who he was. His success and maturity are interrelated. He solves the mystery with his courage and trick and it is the result of his maturity.
2 Why did the boy have to prove who he was?
The boy had to prove who he was because he had no status and identity in society. He was no more the weak underestimated boy. He had become an assertive young man with strong voice. Earlier he was not taken seriously regarding his capacity. He had told people about the big ship but no one had believed. They had called him mad and even beaten him. Now he has captured the ship, he is going to prove that he was right and capable so that society will recognize him.
3 What is the strangest thing about the ghost ship?
The strangest thing about the ghost ship is the absence of sound and its size. Everything about it is strange. It always sails at night but has no lights. It is 97 times longer than the whole village and 20 times taller than the top of the church. It disappears as the light from the lighthouse falls on it and reappears when the light has passed. Finally, the ship heads toward the coast, runs into the ground, breaks up and sinks without a sound. And nobody except the boy knows about its existence.
4 The story is about the maturity consciousness of the boy rather than the appearance and disappearance of the ship? Explain.
Actually, the story is about the maturity consciousness of the boy rather than the appearance and disappearance of the ship. The ghost ship is only his imagination because it has no sound. Otherwise others would hear it. Thus, no one else knows about its existence. As maturity gradually comes to the boy, he uses intelligence, skill and trick to capture the ship. His attempt to prove the ship’s existence to others is just his imagination. It simply means that he has gained such capacity.
5 What does the refrain of the boy “Now they are going to see who I am” mean?
The boy keeps saying “Now they are going to see who I am” in his strong new man’s voice. It suggests his newfound strength and maturity. He is no more the weak boy who was underestimated. He has become an assertive young man. Earlier he was not taken seriously regarding his capacity. He had told the villagers about the big ship but no one had believed. They had called him mad and even beaten him. Now he has captured the ship and is going to prove that he was right and capable.
6 How did the boy prove the existence of the ship?
The boy proved the existence of the ship by capturing it. The villagers did not believe his claim about the ship. Instead, they beat him badly. Then he went to the sea in a boat and waited for the ship. He followed it. When the light of lighthouse fell on it, it disappeared. Then he lit a lantern and saw the ship again. He sailed ahead and guided it with the lantern. The ship followed. Thus, he controlled its movement and brought it to the shore. When the villagers saw the ship, its existence was proved.