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Registered Nurse Essay

1134 words - 5 pages

Literary Analysis
In “The Old Man and the Sea” Ernest Hemingway writes about an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago. The story begins with Santiago fishing alone after having gone eight-four days without catching a fish. A boy, Manolin, fishes with Santiago for the first forty days, but Manolin’s father subsequently forbids him to continue fishing with the old man because the village perceives Santiago to be unlucky and too old to fish. On the eighty-fifth day, Santiago, alone, departs for the sea before sunrise. This begins Santiago’s exhausting three-day struggle to capture and bring home an enormous marlin; thereby redeeming himself to the villagers. The first day Santiago hooks the ...view middle of the document...

Hemingway’s writing style tells the reader how fish and fowl work together at sea. “Santiago’s extensive knowledge establishes him firmly as a person whose entire life has been involved with and dependent upon the birds, fish, and plants that inhabit the waters off Cuba” (Valenti 29).
Santiago is “The Old Man and the Sea.” He is thin with deep wrinkles in his neck. Brown blotches from the sun grace his cheeks, and his hands have deep-creased scars from handling fish on the cords. Everything about Santiago is old except his eyes—they are blue as the sea and undefeated. Santiago is at home on the sea. He can smell the direction of the wind and talks to the fish and birds. “He is a simple man who loves and respects the sea and all the life within it” (Magill, “The Old Man and the Sea,” 1998. 1). As the marlin swims out to sea, Santiago chooses to go out with the fish where their fates run parallel—they both become lonely and isolated. “Santiago combines pride and humility. He performs heroically, conquers the marlin, but then loses it. Therefore, he is not a triumphant hero returning to his admiring people” (Magill, “The Old Man and the Sea,” 1997. 4). Santiago survives nature’s forces only to have the story end as it begun; he is a fisherman without fish.
Hemingway creates many conflicts in this story. Man against nature; man against God; man against society, but man against self is the most apparent. Santiago‘s struggle with self begins when he hooks the marlin. He realizes that the marlin’s size enables it to tow the skiff out to sea. The marlin takes the skiff farther out than the old fisherman has ever ventured, but he doesn’t cut the line to turn around. Santiago risks his life to prove he is not too old to fish. “Hemingway is leading the reader to see that some, in going out “too far,” risk their lives in order to transmit to others the idea that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated” (Magill, “The Old Man and the Sea,” 2000. 8). Santiago draws strength from within himself to endure the elements of the sea as well as to face the humiliation of his village. At sea Santiago relies on his own resources to survive. He endures shark attacks, fatigue, hunger and exposure to the...

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