The Old Man and the Sea


Day 2


Before sunrise the next morning, Santiago goes to Manolin's home to wake him up. They walk to Santiago's shack together, carry his fishing gear to the boat, and drink coffee from an early morning place where they have credit. Santiago slept well, and the two feel confident about the coming day. Manolin gives Santiago the sardines and bait, and then helps push his boat off the harbor. After wishing each other luck, Santiago rows away.

He steadily heads into the gulf stream, noticing the phosphorescence of the gulf weed and the trembling and hissing sounds made by the flying fish, which he considers his friends. He thinks of the delicate birds that fish in the sea with sympathy, pitying their struggle against the sea, who is both kind and cruel. Santiago uses the Spanish feminine pronoun when speaking of the sea, unlike the younger fishermen with more modern equipment, who use the grammatically standard, masculine term. Santiago loves the sea despite its wild behavior, thinking of it as a woman who sometimes loses control of herself as the cycles of the moon change.

Santiago moves his boat along with the current, letting the ocean do a third of the work of rowing. He baits his fishing lines with a combination of his own bait and that which Manolin gave him, then drops them to precise depths, rowing carefully to keep them straight. He connects the coils so that a fish can take over 300 fathoms, if needed.

The sun rises as Santiago continues moving further from the shore. He notices a man-of-war bird circling overhead and realizes it is hunting flying fish, who are also being followed by a dolphin. He follows the man-of-war bird, but neither Santiago nor the bird catch anything. A Portuguese man o' war, which is a venomous creature similar to a jellyfish, floats near his boat. Santiago considers this creature beautiful yet false, and calls it a whore as it drifts along. He sees small fish swimming in its filaments and thinks of how the fish are immune to its venom, but humans suffer from painful welts and...

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Essays About The Old Man and the Sea