Old Man and the Sea Analysis

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The Old Man and the Sea is a well-known book for his deeper meanings. One of the most important meanings that Ernest Hemingway displays is about a fisherman named Santiago. In the book, he is displayed as a well-disrespected man. The author presents Santiago as independent in action and eager in his following type of character. But one of the old man’s most notorious attribute would be the ability to pursue no matter how much his body is beaten. Santiago, even though not supported by anyone except Manolin (his partner and friend), he still went his own way to prove his capability of catching fish. Even though Santiago wakes up every day with hunger, pain, and no motivation, he somehow gets himself up with the will to catch a fish. Throughout his journey of catching a fish, he made sure no obstacle came in the way that made him give up. In The Old Man and the Sea, how do the old man’s challenges show how persevering can have a positive outcome?

Santiago represents perseverance in his everyday life. Santiago shows the ability of never giving up by waking up early every day to go out fishing. No matter the weather or the day, whether he is sick or not, Santiago still goes fishing to live his biggest dream. One of his idols, Joe Dimaggio, who overcame a bone spur, showed him that a baseball player was able to overcome pain and suffers. Joe Dimaggio didn’t want to give up, and so did Santiago. Despite not catching anything, he tries again the next day in hopes to catch a fish. Even if there is someone in his side or even no one, Santiago still goes out to the sea for himself. Everyone in his neighborhood has named him “the unlucky boat.” This negativity doesn’t stop him or even lets him down. Santiago uses the negativity as food to fuel him through his journey on the ocean. Despite the negativity, every day, he comes home with the confidence of having fish in his plate.

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Fear is no challenge for a person with a will to pursue. Santiago faces risk every day by going out in the middle of an ocean in hopes to catch a fish. Even though he fears to go out into the deep waters, that doesn’t bother him when he is being challenged to catch a Marlin. When Santiago went through the big duel with the Marlin, he showed pride with strength and endurance. Even though Santiago caught the fish, in a way, he loved it. Santiago was extremely injured to the point where he couldn’t move his hands. Only pain responded when he tried to move his fingers. His three days of the duel was a first for Santiago and him winning the fight gave him a boost of confidence. Santiago fought through the power of the Marlins and hungry sharks. If he was able to conquer this, then he was able to conquer anything that came in his way. The Marlin was half eaten by the sharks but his Santiago’s spirit and the skeleton remain unconquered.

Ultimately, the challenges Santiago faces throughout the book outweighs the fact he caught a fish. He showed the ability to pursue despite his old age and being injured during the process of catching the Marlin. Our battles in our own lives aren’t with just a fish, with financial issues, or even by age; but we all struggle with one negative obstacle that comes in our way throughout our journey that stops us from continuing our pathway. Ernest Hemingway has created a wonderful character that displayed the struggles that one person would go through and how we can take that experience and take advantage of that. A character that can help us through our own battles. Santiago displays that defeat is only when refusing a fight and not actually losing the fight.

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Old Man and the Sea Analysis. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/old-man-and-the-sea-analysis/