The Old Man and the Sea Literary Analysis

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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway depicts the dismal reality of life’s cruelty, portraying how circumstances sometimes have inevitably dire outcomes regardless of the precautions we take or the effort we exert. But though the depravity of life controls our fate, it doesn’t determine our intestinal fortitude. Santiago was an extremely diligent and hardworking man. Day in and day out, rain or shine, he worked diligently and vigorously at the only trade he had ever known. The scars on his hands told the story of his long, tedious years as a fisherman. “The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.” He rose every morning before the break of dawn and carried the heavy fishing equipment down to the sea. He spent his day on his tiny boat, manning his lines, keeping hooks baited, and guiding the skiff along slowly to maneuver his bait tantalizingly. Often his days would yield little or no success, but that didn’t stop him from working just as hard the next day. He was a man of integrity. Manolin, Santiago’s young friend, had in the past often helped Santiago on his boat. “In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week.” Though he was willing and eager to rejoin Santiago when he fished, he had been warned by his parents to stay away from Santiago because of his unlucky streak in fishing. As an old man, Santiago could have used the help of Manolin, who was young, strong, and well-trained. Santiago...
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