Flotsam And Jetsam Summary

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The Woe of Flotsam and Jetsam and the Guide to Escapism
“Flotsam and Jetsam” is a short story that appeared in the collection “Elsewhere: There” (2012) and is written by the Scottish writer Alan Bissett. It tells the story of our Scottish protagonist, Kate, who has travelled to Zanzibar from Glasgow in an attempt to experience as much as possible while she can still afford to do so. She stays at a five-star network of hotels and is isolated from the townsmen. At a walk along the beach, six different men approaches her, all desiring to sell her snorkelling tours. However, she finds peace at a restaurant and here she begins a conversation with the owner of the place who tells her about Zanzibar. Through their chat, she is enlightened in how the citizens view themselves as well as the problems they deal with on a daily basis in their country. Nevertheless, when the conversation is over, he too hands her a pamphlet and advertises his cousin’s snorkelling tour and as so, her teenage fairy tale dream
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This major character named Mustapha is the owner of the restaurant where she dines. He is the character that speaks ill of the hawkers being from Tanzania and calling them “leeches” (p. 3, l. 87). Nonetheless, he is also the very same man who advertises his own cousin’s snorkelling tour while explaining how the people of Zanzibar are not poor. These contrasts emphasises the fact that he is a round character as well as a main one in the story. Conversely, he is a static one as the only dynamic in this tale is our protagonist, Kate, herself. The narrator tells most of what we know about Kate and only a handful of the known is shown. This includes when she thinks of how her two friends who did not wish to travel with her invented excuses including that they do not like white people in Africa. However, when a man is approaching her she cannot help but
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