The ordinary seaman
The mischievous allies, Elias (the Captain) and Mark, based their dishonest get rich-quick plot on the political background of their victims as well as number of spread curiosities, which were popularly propagated among the recruited crew members. In the case of the 19 year old former Sandanista guerilla, Esteban, it was the simple desire to start a new life and consequently, extinguish the devastating memories laid on the foundations of the aftermath of a horrific war in which he participated.
Hence, due to their lack of citizenship as well as some undeserved conditions including withheld wages, the crew members were placed at the mercies of the culprits, who were the only people they could trust. Thus, Elias and Mark capitalized on these facts. Another factor that made it possible for them to pull off the scam was the fact that the crew members were much engrossed in the fantasies of returning to their homes with fortunes. In more convincing words, the crew members were always being blinded by their innermost desires and so they never suspected the culprits. Rather, they based all their trust and hope on the two (Elias and Mark) who continued deceiving them.
In summary, Elias and Mark were able to pull off the scam based two main reasons. The first reason is based on the different political and cultural background of their victims. The second reason is that the instincts of their victims were most times nurtured by individual fantasies, which blindfolded their foresights. The significance of this scenario in the book is clearly embodied in the theme which portrays the contrast between cultural diversities and globalization. Globalization is an issue that strives to erase all negativities brought about by different political, cultural as well as socio-economic beliefs and practices.
A class on globalization will always be faced with the task of putting up very clear points, instances and even case studies such as the one offered by this story. Thus, the story is told in order to create awareness in the minds of readers towards the plights of an average immigrant alienated in an unfriendly and consequently unfavorable American culture. Hence, this story exposes the ever existing divergence between inhabitants and so called aliens. It steadily focuses on the humanitarian conditions of its characters thereby calling for the readers’ sympathy for the victims of a world that clamors continuously for the unification of all mankind in other words globalization.
Goldman, Francisco, The Ordinary Seaman. New York: Farber & Farber, 1998.