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The Old Man The Sea Essay

Essay Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea

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Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea was written by Ernest Hemingway and published in 1952. This is a captivating fiction story about a man named Santiago and his adventure when one day, he goes on a fishing journey to catch the big one. However, this adventure quickly becomes one of pain and suffering when things take a turn for the worse.

The Old Man and the Sea takes in place in Havana, Cuba and the fishing waters off the coast of Havana. The Spanish names, Santiago and Manolin, are typical in Cuba. Cuba is mostly Catholic so this accounted for Santiago's devotion to Jesus Christ. The year seems to be around the 1930's and 1940's because Santiago is a big fan of Joe DiMaggio who played during these…show more content…

He tries to reel it in but he can't. Instead the fish is pulling the boat! He struggles and struggles with the fish for hours. After a while fatigue takes it's toll as his hands clamp up, and his back aches from the line tied around it. The fish surfaces and Santiago realizes that it is longer than the boat he is on! An unexpected jerk leaves a gash in his hand only to add to his pain. After a very long while Santiago shortens the line to harpoon it. He latches the fish to the side of the boat and begind to tow it back to shore triumphant. Then a mako shark approaches and takes a large bite out of the marlin. Santiago kills it with a harpoon. Only later did he realize that the sharks blood would attract more sharks. As more sharks approached Santiago fought with all his might to save his fish but there was too many sharks. By the time he got to shore, he had nothing more than a skeleton. Santiago collapses from exhaustion on the shore but is found by Manolin and calls for help. The community marveled at the size of the skeleton that is still attached to the boat. Manolin takes care of the old man and vows to return to him as an apprentice. Santiago finally gets the repect from his community.

Hemingway wrote this novel in the third person. By writing in the third person, the reader was able to know more information than the protagonist, Santiago, knew. Knowing what might happen to the protagonist without him knowing raised

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The book The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, is about an old man, Santiago, and his genuine fondness of the sea. Every day he travels out to sea to go fishing which is his occupation. For the past eighty-four days the old man has not caught a single fish. On the eighty-fifth day he sails out to sea as usual, and this is the day that changes Santiago’s life forever. He hooks an unusually immense marlin, and they have an agonizing battle for several days. Hemingway often compares Santiago with the younger fisherman and describes various particular parts about the beautiful sea. This allows the reader to learn that Santiago especially loves the sea and is unlike the other fisherman. While Santiago is going out to sea on the first morning, Hemingway includes numerous details about the setting.
Some of the details are to inform the reader that the old man really enjoys and values the ocean. One way which Hemingway shows this is that Santiago refers to the sea as “la mar,” a kind and beautiful yet sometimes cruel feminine creature. Younger fishermen refer to the sea as “el mar,” which is masculine. Changing this to be masculine means that they do not feel that the sea has any beauty or significance other than for money. Another way that the author tells that the old man appreciates the ocean is in one of his descriptions in the book. “Most people are heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too and my feet and hands are like theirs.” Since Santiago has spent so many years of his life at sea he sees the beauty of the sea and the beauty of its creatures. This is also noted in another quotation from the book, “The iridescent bubbles were beautiful. But they were the falsest thing in the sea and the old man loved to see the big sea turtles eating them.” Santiago finds pleasure about everything in the sea, even after going a disappointing eighty-four days without a fish. All of these are examples of how much the old man appreciates the sea.

Other details Hemingway uses are to show Santiago’s loneliness. He creates an image that the ocean is practically the old man’s home. While out at sea, Santiago often wishes that he would have brought the young boy, Manolin, along. Manolin is the only person who loves and adores Santiago, and he looks up to him as a father figure. Although, it might have been best if Manolin went along to assist Santiago on these arduous few days of battling the marlin. Therefore, Santiago is all alone, but he finds that the sea makes him content and at home. The old man has fished for all of his life, which shows that he has appreciation for the sea. The next statement shows his loneliness yet passion for the sea, “He watched his lines to see them go straight down out of sight into the water and he was happy to see so much plankton because it meant fish. The strange light the sun made in the water, now that the sun was higher, meant good weather and so did the shape of the clouds.” Since Santiago is alone, he finds comfort in all the creatures of the sea.

Hemingway’s descriptions allow the reader to feel and imagine everything Santiago goes through. The author gives the reader a feeling that danger is nearby when he writes, “The sea was very dark and the light made prisms in the water.” By foreshadowing, the reader realizes that a dangerous event is soon to occur. There are also various additional quotations in the book telling of Santiago’s predicaments. This includes one about the sun which hurt his eyes very much in the mornings. All of these descriptions allow the reader to feel precisely what the old man felt. In turn, the reader begins to pity him, and it enhances the book considerably.

Hemingway’s descriptions add significant details to the book, The Old Man and the Sea. They show that Santiago treasures the sea, his solitude, and add to the reader’s appreciation for the book. In addition, they add feeling, make the book more realistic, and improve the overall quality of this tragic yet triumphant story.

Filed Under: Literature, The Old Man and the Sea

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