Essay, Research Paper: Old Man And The Sea

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In the book, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway tells a story of an old
fisherman. The old man, named Santiago, had gone for eighty-four days without
catching a fish. Santiago feels that the following day would be a good day
because eighty-five is his lucky number. The following day he gets up before
dawn and sets out for a day of fishing. He had set one bait at forty fathoms,
the second at seventy-five fathoms, and the third and forth were at one hundred
and one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. While Santiago is fishing he sees a
bird trying to get a flying fish that was being chased by tuna. The old man
tries to put his boat over the school of tuna in hope of getting a catch.
Suddenly something hooked itself on the bait that was set at one hundred and
twenty-five fathoms. The old man had caught a huge marlin that was now pulling
him out to sea. The fish continued to pull the old man out to sea for about 3
days. The old man survived by putting one of his other lines out so that he
could catch fish and eat them in order to keep his strength. On the third day he
finally caught the fish. He had pulled the fish in slowly and then threw his
harpoon at the fish's heart killing it instantly. The old man tied the fish to
the side of his skiff and began to sail home. As he was sailing a shark took a
large bite out of the fish he had caught. The old man harpooned the shark in his
brain, and as the shark rolled off of the fish it took the old man's harpoon
with it. The old man knew that there would be other sharks that would follow the
scent of the fish's blood. He tied his knife to the butt of one of his oars. Two
more sharks came and the old man killed them both. The second shark broke the
blade as it rolled off the fish. Desperate, the old man waited for the other
sharks. All he had left was a club, and he was going to use it. More sharks
came, but this time in a pack. The old man desperately fought off the shark with
his club, but the club was grabbed from his hands. He then ripped part of his
boat off and attempted to fend off the sharks. In the end the sharks had eaten
the fish down to the bone leaving the old man nothing. The old man noticed that
his skiff sailed faster without the huge fish tied on to the side of his boat.
When the old man got home he took all his belongings up to his shack where he
rested. The old man dreamed about lions, and he was happy. The first, and main
character in the book The Old Man and the Sea is in fact the old man, Santiago.
The old man, Santiago, is a tough, persevering man with fishing in his blood.
Santiago just wants to fish because that is what he lives to do. The old man
constantly asks himself, "What would the great DiMaggio do in a situation
like this?" This leads us to say that Santiago looks up to this base ball
player whom he addresses as "The Great DiMaggio" constantly. I like
the old man because he was a strong old man, and he was confident too. Even
through the toughest tasks Santiago perseveres. The old man improvises and never
gives up, just like when his fish was attacked by sharks. "But there was
nothing to be done now. 'Yes there is,' he said aloud. 'I can lash my knife to
the butt of one of the oars." Even in his darkest hours he kept on striving
to protect his fish. He killed many sharks and when he ran out of weapons he
continued to fight. "But the shark jerked backwards as he rolled and the
knife blade snapped. ...reached under the stern for the club." The old man
refused to give up. Santiago would fight the sharks until he died. "Fight
them,' he said. 'I'll fight them until I die'" The other main character
featured in this story was the boy, whose name is Manolin. There is not much
background on Manolin, for he is not in most of the book. Manolin is a young boy
who looks out for the old man bringing him food and clothing. I disliked the
boy. He left the poor old man for a "luckier" boat. Had the boy stayed
with the old man, there may have been a chance of getting the fish back to the
harbor intact. The boy also had a foul mouth that I did not like at all. Though
the boy did feed and cloth the old man, he could have also fished with him.
Santiago lived in a shack by the water of Havana. The old man had to have lived
near a large city because when he was out at sea he looked for the bright lights
of Havana. There was a restaurant within walking distance of his shack. The boy
often got food, coffee and beer from the restaurant for the old man. I think
there was a point that Ernest Hemingway was trying to get across in his book. I
think it was a self reflection of his life. He was a depressed person, having
committed suicide. The Old Man and The Sea is a depressing book. I think the
author was trying to illustrate how he was feeling so the book reflected the
author. I think a key point in this book was that life is hopeless. The old man
really had nothing to live for. The old man caught the biggest fish he had ever
seen, but in the end nothing remained. After he had caught the fish and lost it
he must have been worked. The boy was crying because the old man was in such a
bad condition. "He went out quietly to go to bring some coffee and all the
way down the road he was crying. '...Sleeping,' he called. He did not care that
they saw him crying. 'Let no one disturb him.' '...D*** my fish,' he said and he
started to cry again." The boy cried a lot, it was either that he was very
emotional, or that the old man was doing poorly. The whole illustration of the
book leads to say that life is pointless. I think life is pointless without God.
My personal opinion of the book was that it was a sad story; a story of the
highlight of a man's life. There was one time in this guy's life when it counted
and he was let down. I did enjoy the fact presented in the book that the old man
was not discouraged in the end to the point of quitting. I disagreed with the
fact that there was really no resolution to the problem of the story. That is
what made the book so sad, that there really wasn't an ending, and the problem
was never solved. If I had written the story I would have changed a few aspects
of the story. First, I would have taken care of the boys foul mouth problem. I
would have probably made the boy a Christian so that he would be talking to the
old man throughout the book about the truth. Doing this would have also been a
witness to the people reading the book. Second, I would have had the old man
give his life to God in the end. He would have realized that there is something
more to life. The fact that he had lost the fish would have had been no matter
to him after he had given his life to God. The story, after having these
changes, would now be a happy story with resolution to the problem.

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