"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, Hadley Richardson Pages: 8 (1470 words) Published: January 1, 1996
Ernest Hemingway

A Discussion and Analysis of one of his Major Works

"The Old Man and the Sea"

The purpose of this research paper is to identify one particular writer who epresents particular interest to myself, to which extent I shall identify one major work as well as a minor work by this author. Similarly, I shall include a biography of this author as well as some published criticism. To begin with, the author in question is Ernest Hemingway, and the primary work in question is The Old Man and the Sea. To begin with, I should like to identify a theme based upon The Old Man and the Sea. Man and the sea has had a long, intricate, profitable and sometimes contentious relationship for thousands of years. The history of man is irrevocably linked with that of the sea and, as man became more and more sophisticated, so did his relationship with the sea.

The Old Man and the Sea

A Summary and Overview

The Old Man and the Sea is a story, in my view, about man vs. the elements, individuality, and one

man's obsession to dominate his world. For Ernest Hemingway far more than for most men, the specter of

age was a terrible specter indeed, and the virtue of

action upon which he had based his art in his life was the virtue of the young. This, I believe, pervaded

the legendary figure of Ernest Hemingway as the youthful, virile adventurer, tempered with humility.

Hemingway has been notably preoccupied with

individualism as well as self-endurance and, in my view, no where is this more exemplified than in his

novel The Old Man and the Sea. The Old Man and the Sea is basically a story about an old man who sets

out in a small boat on what presumes to be a routine fishing

expedition. Unexpectedly, he connected with a very large fish which precipitated a struggle which

appeared interminable. The fish was a marlin, and the struggle resulted in the death and capture of this

enormous fish. At that point, he secured the marlin and headed home. Unfortunately, along the way, he

was besieged by sharks which he was unable to fight off.

The time span in the novel The Old Man and the Sea is relatively short. The old man's name is

Santiago, and he spends all of eighty-four days without catching a fish. After his first nibble from this

great marlin, he struggles greatly to hang on to this fish even though every muscle in his body causes him

the greatest pain þ and the second night he nibbles on a small fish and sleeps for the first time, whereupon

a furious jerk of the line awakens him. It's during the third day that the great marlin begins to circle the

boat and, in almost no time, the sharks (beginning with a mako) begin to move in on Santiago's catch.


after Santiago brings in the bare remains of the flesh-stripped marlin, it creates a big stir among the

village fisherman, and tourists observe with detached amusement the skeletal remains of Santiago's

three-day battle. They do not understand the nature or significance of Santiago's experiences.

Hemingway refers to the fishing rod being part of a life-death cycle. While the rod is alone without a fish

on the other end, it is dead. However, when

there is a fish on the end of the line, the rod becomes a living rod. This life ends, however, when the fish

is removed from the line. The struggle for life is aptly presented in this story by Hemingway through

describing the struggle of a fish and a man in which the fish struggles to free himself, while the man

struggles to maintain him. It is a huge fish and he puts up a great fight.

Two Hearted River: Part II þ Summary and Analysis.

Another story regarding life and death and the struggle for life was Ernest Hemingway's short story

Two Hearted River: Part II. he warmth and life-giving quality of the sun is mentioned early in the story.

In the morning, it is as if the grasshoppers are

lifeless. It takes the warmth and life-giving quality of the...
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