Essay Flotsam and Jetsam

Words: 1146
Pages: 5

“Flotsam and Jetsam”

The short “Flotsam and Jetsam” is written by Alan Bissett in 2012. Alan Bissett, born in 1975 is a Scottish writer, and the short story appeared in the collection “Elsewhere: There” in 2012. The story is written in third person, and the narrator is omniscient. The characters are both described directly and indirectly by what they say, or how they act, because some of the characters has hidden agendas. The main theme in the story is the message to the reader, and the setting which is in Tanzania, and the social environment. The short story takes place in the beautiful East Africa, Tanzania in recent times.

The short story starts in media res, which is characteristic
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It emerged that the chef was not that bad after all. The food was just about the most beautiful thing Kate had ever tasted, and she was very pleased with this restaurant. They talked a lot that evening, and the chef called Mustapha, was very polite and kind. He tells Kate that he is always very interested in where the tourists come from, and why they are in Zanzibar. That is how he learns about the world. Kate told him about the situation in Britain. “Things in Britain are very bad, very gloomy. Bad politics. Bad economy.” She tells him that she just has been made redundant in Scotland. Mustapha is listening, and kind of seems to understand Kate, and he starts to talk about the situation in Zanzibar. He tells Kate that they need tourists in Zanzibar, because they bring the money. “Zanzibar has not poverty. Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Malawi, very poor, yes. But not Zanzibar. We have tourist. We have island. We have clean water, lots of seafood, jobs, hotels, spices. Trade”. This make Kate wonder. She thinks about how huge difference there is between parts of the world. He thinks that this are decent living standards, but if he came to Europe he would discover that not even the lowest paid people in Europe lives like this.

That conversation with Mustapha makes Kate realise that the local people in Zanzibar may have other values then the Scottish have. “Britain’s becoming a terrible place. All our selfishness and greed has started to eat us”. Kate