Full version The Old Man And The Sea

The Old Man And The Sea

This print version free essay The Old Man And The Sea.

Category: Book Reports

Autor: reviewessays 02 November 2010

Words: 1128 | Pages: 5

Hemingway’s use of symbols and the metaphors beyond the symbols is phenomenal. Metaphors are an implied analogy that has an ideal that is being expressed and it also has an image by which that idea is conveyed. Establishing the similarities between the following dissimilarities is what helps to identify the metaphors behind the symbols in Hemingway’s writings. He uses things as symbols to help express the old man’s deep feelings in his journey through life.

In The Old Man and the Sea the boy is brought to attention by the old man more than anything else in the story is. The old man, Santiago, thinks of the boy as the little boy that he used to take fishing and carefully watch over. Now that the boy, Manolin, has grown up, the old man still refuses to acknowledge his maturity. While the old man is on his lengthy fishing trip, looking for the greatest catch of all times, he finds himself delirious at times, wanting for the boy. On page 51, Aloud he said, “I wish I had the boy.” But you haven’t got the boy, he thought. You have only yourself and you had better work back to the last line now, in the dark or not in the dark, and cut it away and hook up the two reserve coils. That is one example of the symbol of the boy in this book. The boy is a symbol of youth, potency and hope to the old man in trial times. Santiago began to talk to the boy aloud at one point and he also wished several times that the boy could have been with him on his length search of the greatest catch of all.

The fish withholds a great part in this book. The Old Man and the Sea is a book that’s about a small town where the residents revolve their lives around fishing. The fish is a symbol of beauty and it is a greatly admired creature to these people. An example from the book is on page 49. Santiago has been fishing for 84 days and decides not to return home without a fish on the 85th day. On the 85th day, alone in the boat, he manages to hook an enormous marlin, the biggest fish he's ever seen in all his life. The fish is larger and stronger than Santiago. Santiago's experienced fishing skills and his will to catch and survive push him to pursue the fish for many days and many miles out to sea. Santiago loves this fish. He respects it for its beauty, its size, and its power. Then he began to pity the great fish he had hooked. “He is wonderful and strange and who knows how old he is, he thought.” Still Santiago must demonstrate his own power over the fish, for the sake of his pride. After an incredible and exhausting fight, the fish is his. He must now get it back to shore. After killing the fish, he ties the fish to the skiff. The marlin fish he catches is as big as the struggle he has yet to face after his catch. And so his next battle begins. Sharks appear and start to feed on the defenseless carcass of the marlin fish. Santiago tries to defend the great fish. He tries to defend its beauty, its dignity, as well as his own triumph over the fish. He tries to defend his pride, joy, and make it back to shore.

The sea is related to life in The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway uses the metaphor of the sea to symbolize life and to depict the role that individuals play in life. Santiago talks about the sea using characterization. On page 29, he says that he always thought of the sea as la mar, which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fisherman, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. Santiago always thought of her a feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favors. If she did wild or wicked things, it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought. You can find another example on page 51. “If there is a hurricane, you always see the signs of it in the sky for days ahead, if you are at sea. They do not see it ashore because they do not know what to look for, he thought. The land must make a difference too, in the shape of the clouds. But we have no hurricane coming now.” Hemingway theorizes that in life there are going to be unexpected collisions. Just as the sea creates storms life creates storms. Those who live life to the fullest will be the least affected by these storms because they have the strength and the knowledge to handle them. The observers or those on land will be destroyed because they do not have the power to handle the destruction that the storms will cause. The individuals who are far out to sea have the knowledge that the ocean will test them with momentous storms, and this is why they go so far out to sea.

The last symbol is poverty and riches. On page 11, it talks about Santiago being poor. It says, “Those who are poor in this town learn or appericate the smaller things in life, but those who have riches will never observe the things that they pass by.” It talks about how those with riches in the town buy buoys to float their lines and they use motorboats, expecting their fishing experience to have a greater outcome. Santiago has no respect for those with riches that use them to better their fishing. The old man is traditional and he believes that one day he will catch a fish that will turn out the be the greatest catch of all.

The great usage of metaphors helped to create an image of what Hemingway was talking about throughout the book. While reading the book, the symbols helped me to better understand the deep feelings in Santiago’s life. The boy, the sea, the fish, and poverty are all apart of the old man’s opinions and feeling about his life as well as others.