20 March 2014
Old Man and the Sea
There are plenty of tales of tales about the big fish that got away. However, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is not one of those exaggerated stories of a huge fish that cannot be proven to have ever been caught. In fact, Santiago, the protagonist, truly hooks and kills the biggest marlin he’s ever seen, one that is well over 1000 pounds. Unfortunately, after winning the fiercest fishing battle in his career, this poor Cuban fisherman loses marketable parts of the fish to hungry sharks on his way back to shore. Three major themes in this novel are determination, pride, and friendship.
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Being prideful can have positive and negative effects; Santiago has received a little bit of both. If it were not for his pride as one of the best fisherman he would not have gone out and battled to catch a fish, which he refused to go home without the marlin he caught. On his way home after having the marlin Santiago has to kill a group of sharks that attack him. As a fisherman Santiago has a lot of respect for the animals in the sea so he realizes he killed sharks just to come home with a fish and begins to ask himself if all his pride is sin. “You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman” (Hemingway 105) is what Santiago tells himself on his way home from his long battle with the marlin. Pride was the motive for his journey out in the sea. He struggles and goes through many problems that he could have prevented, but because of his pride he did accomplish his wish and achieved his goal so in Santiago’s case he got both negative and positive effects for his pride.
A third theme or life lesson one can also get from this novel is friendship. Santiago is a very respected man in his town but after going so long without catching anything people are starting to lose faith except for Manolin, A young boy he treats like a grandson. Santiago has taught Manolin everything he knows as a fisherman so he can also be successful. Since Santiago lives alone his only true friend is the young boy who takes care of him and any of his needs. On Santiago’s journey he really wishes he would have bought the boy along to help him but he begins to hope no one worries and says, “There is only the boy to worry of course. But I am sure he would have confidence” (Hemingway...