The Old Man And The Sea


The Old Man And The Sea Essay, Research Paper

I read this book for the first time in high school and I remembered it just as well as if I had read it

yesterday. As I read it again I remembered some of the same language, especially the old man

talking to his hands. Cursing his left hand when it cramped up on him like it was a separate part of

himself and had a mind of its own was particularly interesting.

We can see immediately in the beginning of the book that this old man is in a struggle to catch fish

and hasn’t done so for eighty four days. He leaves early on the eighty fifth day and by himself

which is important because it defines the journey. He seems to be the pinnacle of the Hemingway

hero, a culmination of a life time of writing that comes together in the portrait of Santiago. He is

old, unlucky, humble despite is glorious past of fishing and el champion, trying to do the most he

can from his weathered body. He has lived so much that he does not need to dwell on the past

events or people he shared it with and is perfectly happy reading about baseball and dreaming

about lions on the beach in Africa.

The struggle between the marlin is a beautiful depiction of courage and resilience, but I begin to

wonder who is hooked into who. The old man and the fish are one and their lives become

connected through that line as they live each moment according to the other’s actions. Even the old

man is not sure who is better, him or the marlin, and he mentions several times they are not that

different. And whether or not the sharks ate his fish, it only matters that the old man brought him to

the boat and defeated him.

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