English 12 Notes for English Notes

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The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship

Writer : G. G. Marquez


This story is written by applying stream of consciousness technique. It explains how a boy deepens his observation and grows from an ordinary boy to an assertive young man.
When the story starts we find the boy is already grown into assertive man, when he asserts, “Now they are going to see who I am.” But in the very next line we are made familiar about the past events through retrospective technique.

Four years ago in March, the boy saw a huge ship, which lost its way, crushed to a rock and sank. There were no lights on the ship. Neither had it appeared in the light of the lighthouse. He could only see the ship in extreme darkness. Our common sense tells that we can see an object only if it is luminous or it is illuminated. Thus, it is clear that it was just an imagination of the boy. He was himself not sure about that vision for the first time and didn’t tell anybody about that.

In the following March, he saw a similar ship again. This time he told his mother about it. His mother didn’t believe him. Rather, she thought the boy became lunatic and lamented for three weeks. However, she assured him that she would go and look at the ship if it came again. But before the arrival of the ship, she died.

When the ship appeared in March again, the boy called the villagers to see that ship. But as there wasn’t any ship and they beat the boy for telling lie. After that the boy decided if the ship came next time he would show everybody how big the ship was.

The ship appeared in the fourth March too. This time the boy led the ship with a stolen lamp in a small boat. The light of the lamp helped the ship to correct it way and it followed the boy. The boy brought the ship to the village. The gigantic ship was 97 times longer than the village and 20 times taller than the church. The boy imagined that its loud siren had woken the whole village, and they were looking at the ship in disbelieve. This would help him to prove his worth and who he was.

Actually it is the story about the powerful imagination of the boy. Sometimes a person’s creative power becomes so sharp that he can see his vision in concrete form. A normal mind with limited power of creativity hardly sees such picture.


  1. The story traces the development of a boy from his childhood into maturity as the story develops in chronological order. With the chronological order, he encounters with the ghost ship many times. When he saw the ship as first he thought it was only a dream. When he saw next time he told his mother and compelled her to see the ghost ship with him the following year. Unfortunately, she died before the time came. So, he was hated by the people. He didn’t want to get any charity, so he stole fish from the boat and sold them. Once he shouted seeing the ghost ship but the villagers beat him, so he got angry and made a strong decision to meet the ghost ship anyhow. He stole a boat and went to the boy of the sea and waited for her. After all, he was able to meet the ship and thinking very seriously he made a trick and lit a lantern to control the ghost ship. Magically, the ship came under his control, and he led it to his village where he was beaten. At least he carried it to the village and the villagers became surprised what it really was.

As he was a small boy, he couldn’t recognize and know the real existence of the ship but at last he made a strong decision and plan to meet the ship anyhow and expose him really who he was. He got success with his immaturity. The success and maturity developed are interrelated. He could solve the mystery with his courage and idea which is the result of his maturity. No one else know the existence of the ship because it was the boy’s imagination. When he saw the great whale he shouted as if the miraculous ship appeared there but it was not reality.

  1. I mean the boy’s newly discovered ability to control the ship’s moment is his ability to control his imagination and his concept. His strong feeling and range arise due to beating and hatred. He comes to take revenge with the villagers and wants to show his strong power of imagination.

  2. The protagonist is asserting that he brings the largest ocean liner into his village which pours his strong, imaginative production. At first, he imagines the ship which leads him to expose in the real world. He shouts once about the ship, he is beaten and hated so his dim imagination comes to be strong, and he wants to show his all power to the villagers, so he imagines the large ship to be brought into the village publicly.

  3. Stream of consciousness reveals the psychological process of the protagonist in writing. Character’s thoughts, and feelings play important roles to develop the incidents. The sensitive description proceeds without plot and logical sequences. On the basis of this story, we can find the boy’s thoughts and imaginations prolonged for pages. We can’t analyze the sentence because of fluctuation of the thoughts of the character. The incidents are led by the boy’s thoughts. It does not play attention to the realities. When we read the story, we don’t find the real and dream explanations. Only thoughts and feelings can be expressed through such style but dialogue, explanation, idea exchange would resist treatment in the style.

  4. As the story is in the style of stream of consequences, the phrase “Now they are going to see who I am” is the boy’s strong and constant thought which is reoccurring again and again. The refrain helps the whole story to be well organized in consequence of the events. The word ‘now’ reminds that the character is challenged to anyone because they are not regarding his capacity. The word has revealed his mental depression by antagonist in the story. For the more clarification of the same statement we can remember the following examples – ‘his voice was blows and left him twisted – he would not let himself confused by emotion…etc.’

Here ‘they’ means the villagers and disbelievers who beat him and hated him. Those persons upon whom the boy wants to take revenge are ‘they’ (them) who are cowards.

  1. In the description of the ghost ship, we cannot find clear distinction between the reality and the fantasy. There are other cases too where we can’t find clear differences, such as, … …gloomy beams transfigured the village into an incompetent of glowing house and streets of violence deserts every fifteen seconds, … …to stay very late on the beach to listen to the wind’s might harp, … …the soundest sleeping dragons in the prehistoric jungle that began with the last streets of the village and ended on the other side of the world, The above descriptions are very lively and realistic description.

  2. The writer presents the description of concrete and visual details in the story. What the boatman really saw in the sea was “the lovemaking of Manta says in a spring time sponges, pink snappers and blue corvine diving into the other wells of softer waters that were among the waters, and even the wandering hairs of victims of downing in some colonial shipwreck…” This type of description is very much realistic.

  3. As it is written in the style of stream of consciousness, it doesn’t focus on the other experience of the protagonists, which is the main characteristic of such style. The story focuses only on the main characters’, internal thoughts and feelings. In such style of writing, outer experience, dialogue, objective descriptions are not used. The incidents of the story develop with the interior monologue of the protagonist. Mental moment is forwarded. The grand triumph feeling of the boy about the private vision upon disbelievers is internally related with the journey and visions are also his private feelings. The boy feels with strong desire to get success over the disbelievers when they beat him about his false shouting of the ship.

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