English 3 Honors
10 February 2015
The Old Man and the Sea
The story of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is a tale that is deeper than catching a fish. This story describes a man who has been destroyed, both physically and mentally, but hasn’t been defeated. He has been out at sea for 84 days without catching a fish. He catches one of the biggest fish he has ever caught only to have it taken away from him. This story displays the themes of personal triumphs in the face of losses as well as courage in defeat. Three qualities that Santiago has that make for a truly incredible life are strength, pride, and endurance.
Throughout the story, many demonstrations of strength are seen from the main character Santiago. One of the first times the extent of Santiago’s strength is shown in the novel is during the flashback of Santiago during an arm wrestling match. “They had gone a day and a night with their elbows on the chalk line on the table and their forearms straight up and their hands gripped tight” (Hemingway 69). Santiago is strong enough to defeat one of the strongest men around. Another example of strength shown by Santiago is when he is out at sea. He has been holding onto the line that he caught the marlin with, as well as pulling in a dolphin with his other arm. “Holding the line with his right arm, he pulled the dolphin in with his left” (Hemingway 72). During the shark attacks, Santiago is optimistic about what good the bleeding from his hands will bring. “The bleeding may keep the left from cramping” (Hemingway 111). The old man is so strong that he uses the bleeding pain to suffocate a different source of pain. This exhibition of strength is one factor that keeps Santiago from giving up in his fight at sea.
No quantity of pain or physical abuse can extinguish Santiago's pride, which remains unbeatable. Even in his neglected existence, the old man is proud, saying that he will have fish to eat at...
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