In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End there's the following dialogue between Jack and Barbossa:

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Barbossa: The world used to be a bigger place.

Jack Sparrow: The world's still the same. There's just... less in it.

What do they mean with this conversation?

  • 3
    I took it to mean either (or both) that there's less "magic" left in the world as people stop believing in magic or there's less new stuff left to discover, sentiments often seen in fantasies. I'm no expert though, so just commenting instead of answering. – blm Oct 10 '15 at 17:46
  • Okay .. thanks.. – Nayeem Oct 10 '15 at 17:52
up vote 4 down vote accepted

They are standing next to Kraken's carcass and facing the growing threat from East India Trading Company. There is also the first part of that conversation:

Barbossa: Still thinking of running, Jack? Think you can outrun the World?
You know, the problem with being the last of anything...
...by and by, there be none left at all.

[...]

Jack: Summoning the Brethren Court, then, is it?
Barbossa: It's our only hope, lad.
Jack: That's a sad commentary in and of itself.

So, Barbossa's remar (that follows the cited part) can be interpreted as "there will be no place left for you to run to".

Jack's response could mean both a disagreement ("the World is the same") or an agreement ("less stuff [to use to hide] in it"). I think that it's deliberately vague, because Barbossa has a facial expression that - to me - shows he's uncertain of the meaning (and he needs Jack to agree).

Usually when talking about the world becoming smaller it has to do with advances in travel (and technology / communication).

Barbossa recognizes The East India Trading Company is connecting land masses across the globe, thus making the world smaller.

Jack takes this a bit literally, the world isn't getting smaller. But he says 'less' in much the same way. The East India Trading Company threatens to take over all the seas - leaving 'less' for anyone else - including Jack and Barbossa.

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