Benjamin R. Heldt
8 May 2012
After reading The Old Man and the Sea, written by Ernest Hemingway, I found the most interesting part of the book to be the sea itself. One can almost consider the sea another character, due to the vital role it plays in the short novella. The sea provides a glimpse at Santiago’s knowledge and experience that he has acquired throughout the course of his life. As well as the sea is used as a metaphor to the literary community, if one looks at it this way. I also find its role polarized since it is both a provider and a threat at the same time. This eventually teaches a good life-lesson to the readers.
Throughout the story, Santiago and Manolin are on the sea often. This setting allows for Santiago to present his wisdom and experience to Manolin, and the readers. He has knowledge of the current “He was rowing steadily and it was no effort for him since he kept well within his speed and the surface of the ocean was flat except for the occasional swirls of the current. He was letting the current do a third of the work as it started to be light he saw he was already Heldt 2
further out than had hoped to be at this hour.” (Hemingway, 10), the depth of fish inhabitants “This time it was a tentative pull, not solid nor heavy, and he knew exactly what it was. One hundred fathoms down a marlin was eating the sardines that covered the point and the shank of the hook where the hand-forged hook projected from the head of the small tuna.” (Hemingway, 14-15), and how each of these affects his situation on the sea. By allowing this the readers can imagine the experience and wisdom of the old man.
I find the role of the sea to be a metaphor of the literary community. There are two types of fish that come from the sea: the marlin and the sharks. The marlin is Santiago's brother; the shark is his enemy. If one reads the book from a metaphorical standpoint; the marlin then is the...