The Old Man and the Sea


Day 3


A tiny, tired-looking bird lands on Santiago's boat, flies around his head, and rests on the line the marlin is pulling on. Thinking it is the bird's first trip out to sea, Santiago doesn't want to tell the warbler about the hawks that will attack it as it nears the shore, so he tells the bird to get some rest before heading back. At that moment, the marlin surges forward, almost pulling Santiago into the water and cutting his hand against the fishing line. The bird flies away.

Although he is not hungry, Santiago eats the albatross he caught yesterday instead of using it as bait so that he can stay strong enough to handle the marlin. His bleeding left hand, which holds on to the marlin's line as Santiago uses his right hand to eat, cramps up into a claw. Santiago berates his hand, but continues eating the tuna in hopes that it will help. He wishes he could feed the marlin as well, but maintains his resolve to kill the big fish.

Santiago begins to feel alone, but after seeing ducks fly overhead, realizes no one is alone while at sea. The marlin begins rising, then jumps into the air, and Santiago sees that it is larger than any he has seen before—two feet longer than even his own boat. Afterward, the fish gradually slows back down. Santiago first wishes the marlin had seen him as well, but then is glad that the fish didn't see his cramped hand.

Santiago's hand improves as the day wears on, and is uncramped again by noon. Although he says he isn't religious, Santiago says ten Our Fathers and Hail Marys in hopes of catching the marlin and promises to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre if he succeeds.

The old man then sets out another baited line to bring in another meal, in case his fight with the marlin stretches into another night. Throughout this third day, Santiago continues to wonder whether it is right to try to kill the marlin.

With the sky darkening, Santiago thinks again of Joe DiMaggio and how well he plays despite of his painful bone spur. Although...

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Essays About The Old Man and the Sea