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The Old Man and the Sea

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The Old Man and the Sea

"A man is never lost at sea..." (P. 89, l.15)

Ernest Hemingway brought home a Pulitzer Prize for the literary piece about a poor fisherman's quest to gain power and individuality through a fight between a man and a marlin.

While creating an analysis and interpretation of "The Old Man and the Sea," it is important to put a focus on the main character's internal struggle, the major themes, and the biblical involvement during the story, while also noticing the specific symbolism in order to draw out a specific message from the novel.

When Hemingway began his writing career, his writing was a result of his journalistic background. His writing is very minimalistic and plain, where he focuses more on telling rather than showing. He uses a style that is characterized by simple sentences and very few adverbs and adjectives. Some might say that his writing style lacks substance as he avoids direct statements and descriptions of emotions, while others believe that it gives the reader a better change to interpret Hemingway's stories.

"The Old Man and the Sea," by Ernest Hemingway, all-time American author, is written in 1951, and tells the story of an epic and internal struggle between an old fisherman and the greatest fight for his life: the catch of the enormous marlin. Santiago, an old and aged Cuban fisherman, has been fishing for eighty-four days, but have always returned empty-handed. On the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sets out to the sea like any other day, and finally luck strikes him, as he is greeted by the powerful marlin that changes Santiago's life forever.

Santiago is suffering with an internal struggle in "The Old Man and the Sea," He has become an old man, lost his proud rumor as a great fisherman, and instead he has become a laughing stock. Not only psychically is he getting weaker and weaker, but physically, Santiago's body is collapsing into several pieces after years of intense fishing. "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated," (P. 10, l. 5-7).

Determined and stubborn, Santiago refuses give up on fishing or his dreams of catching something so big it will change his life, he continues to fish every day with the help of his apprentice, Manolin, and one day, Santiago challenges himself by sailing further out on to the sea than any other fisherman.

Santiago's determination to sail out further away from shore than any other fisherman in order to capture a great fish, testifies, one of the major characteristics of Santiago, which is his pride, yet it also shows, how Santiago wishes to turn his life around, and abstain from the rumors and expectations of him

"To hell with luck. I'll bring the luck with me," (P.125, l. 34).

Santiago's journey on the sea is painful and dangerous. For three days Santiago holds on to the fishing line, even though it hurts him badly: cuts deeply into his palms, causes crippling cramps and ruins his back, but his pride is what enables him to endure the rough pain and finish the fight with the marlin. Santiago's persistence to catch the marlin is a reference to how Santiago wants to proof all of the notions about elderly people wrong, as he refuses to be reckoned as a weak and unsuccessful man upon society.

Santiago uses the physical pain as an adrenalin rush, as it proves that he is a worthy fisherman. Santiago generates a connection with the marlin, who like Santiago, is in physical agony. The link between Santiago and the marlin attest to Santiago's belief, that he is well matched, and that he is a worthy opponent to the strong fish "He rested sitting on the un-stepped mast and sail and tried not to think but only to endure," (p.46, l. 8-9). Santiago has like most people hopes and dreams, which is shown in the novel through his interior discussions with himself, for an example when he talks of his favorite baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, while he is holding on to the fishing line. Santiago uses DiMaggio as an encouragement to keep fighting "But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly, even with a bone spur in his heel," (P.68, l. 4-5). This quote sustains that the image of Joe DiMaggio works as a motivation in fulfilling Santiago's challenge of catching the fish.

Obviously, Santiago is the next iteration in a long line of Hemingway's personal heroes, who are often portrayed as men of action, tested by life's adversity and affliction, someone who lives by their own beliefs and rules. Hemingway's personal need to create strong and proud male character refers as a counterpart to his own family, who suffered through several family suicides, including his own father.

"The Old Man and the Sea" is filled with plenty of major themes, but it has been viewed upon by most



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