The Old Man and the Sea

Topics: Suffering, Fishing, Pain Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: August 28, 2013
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway deals with the effect of endurance and suffering on the human spirit, and how some of the suffering is necessary. Santiago suffers the most throughout the book. First, he suffers physically when trying to bring the fish to his boat. Secondly, his mental endurance allows him to continue on, his mind never let his body give in, even though his body told him to. Third, his spirit is hurt by all of the younger fishermen and the words they say and also by Manolin’s father sending him with another fisherman. Santiago goes through a lot of physical suffering. The first physical damage that Santiago suffers is the "line burn that had cut his flesh." The cut "was in the working part of his hand." (57) It was not long after his hand had been cut by the line that his hand began to cramp. Santiago told his hand, "Cramp then if you want. Make yourself into a claw. It will do you no good." (58) He does not, however, give in to a little pain. He manages not to use the cramped hand until it has regained its full working order again. Santiago was able to handle the fish and bring him up to the boat and then to the land, mainly because of his mental endurance. Santiago was a physically strong man, but he was even stronger mentally. His mind knew all that he did and kept him from surrendering. When his body was on the verge of giving in to the fish, his mind would not allow it. He thought of the great DiMaggio and he asked himself, "Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one? he thought. I am sure he would . . . " (68) And to give him more confidence and the will to go on, he thought of the arm wrestling match in the Casablanca tavern. He remembered how, "For a long time after that everyone had called him The Champion." (70) This flashback gave him strength, which his mind used the best it could to bring the fish in. The young fishermen in Havana had crushed Santiago deep inside. One...
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