Old Man and the Sea: A Tale of Determination

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La Mar y Su Hijo
“Fish,” he said softly, aloud, “I’ll stay with you until I am dead” (52) In a battle of man against fish, Ernest Hemingway’s “Old Man” in The Old Man and The Sea, is determined to be victorious in the face of defeat. Through this simple story an old Cuban man struggles against a formidable adversary, a great fish. The unnamed old man has passed his prime, yet still maintains astounding determination. He lasts four days at sea with no shelter, one small water bottle and years of experience to keep him alive. The old man did not have any other choice but to be in constant contact with the fish; tying the line with the fish could result in the loss of his prey. This struggle is both physically and mentally challenging. Risking his life for the chance of glorious success, the old man is a perfect example of true perseverance. Hemingway uses a simple tale of an old man and his connection with the sea to indicate how man’s resilience and moral strength will lead him to salvation. In an epic battle there will always be the temptation to give up and submit to an opponent. With determination the old man struggles against the inclination to relax his hold on the tremendous fish, in order to rest. This option seems appealing to a man fighting on absolutely no sleep in more than 24 hours. “How simple it would be if I could make the line fast, he thought. But with one small lurch he could break it. I must cushion the pull of the line with my body and at all times be ready to give line with both hands” (77). This action shows the old man’s fortitude. Although the old man contemplates taking the risk of tying the fish’s line and resting his weary body, he instead holds on to his treasure, so as not to make a heinous mistake: surrendering to his challenger. The old man’s true commitment allows him to overcome his exhaustion and the enticement of falling into a sinful sleep. On account of the man’s faith to the sea and its creatures he seeks redemption, by...
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