The Old Man and the Sea

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The Importance of the Journey in The Old Man and the Sea

In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago, the main character of the novel experiences a physical and journey which is set in nature. It proves to be a physical journey as Santiago goes out to sea and has to fight the fish to be able to catch it, but also a personal journey, as this journey allows us to see Santiago in different states. This journey is set in the sea, which gives importance to nature, which is the main theme. The journey to sea Santiago goes on proves to be a real physical battle for him. Merely a few hours after being at sea, Santiago catches his first fish, a big marlin. This is when Santiago’s physical struggle really begins. Santiago isn’t strong enough to pull the fish up on his own, and so he lets it pull him instead. Santiago is patient, and waits for the fish to come get tired, and come up on his own. Santiago realizes that this may last a long time, so he put the line across his shoulders for a better grip. This was not a comfortable position for Santiago, but he bore with it. Santiago is in physical pain, he spends three days in an uncomfortable position, and his hands get cuts all over them. His left hand gets a cramp which seems to refuse to leave. The strength of the fish would cause the old man to fall in painful and uneasy positions: “He had been pulled down tight on to the bow and his face was in the cut slice of dolphin and he could not move.” This physical struggle exhausted Santiago, and the weather alongside with the fact that Santiago hadn’t come prepared were not helping. He was not only physically drained out, but also morally. Santiago’s struggle is not only physical, but moral too. It could be perceived as a personal journey, as an inner struggle. From the way the author describes Santiago, we can deduce that he is a confident, determined and strong old man. As we get deeper into the story, we realize that this is true, but that Santiago holds...
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