The Old Man and the Sea


Day 4


Santiago is awoken by the marlin jerking the line. The fish keeps jumping into the air, throwing Santiago against the bow with the dolphin meat in his face. Santiago leans back against the line, causing friction burns on his back and badly cutting his left hand. He struggles to keep the line, which is feeding quickly, straining close enough to the breaking point to make the marlin work hard. Once again, the old man wishes Manolin were there to reduce the friction on the line by wetting the coils.

Santiago then washes the dolphin meat off his face, worried he will vomit and lose strength. He notices his hand is injured, but tells himself it isn't bad, berating the hand for not working better. Thinking he is no longer clear-headed, Santiago eats the last flying fish in hopes of strengthening himself back up.

The sun rises, and the marlin starts to circle the boat. Santiago spends hours steadily pulling the marlin in. He is feeling faint, dizzy, and seeing spots, so he promises to say one hundred Our Fathers and Hail Marys if God will help him endure in the fight. The marlin fights back, hitting the wire leader with its spear. Santiago rests briefly, then begins pivoting and weaving to bring the marlin further in. The marlin swims under the boat, and Santiago can't believe how big it is. He continues fighting to pull it closer in. Feeling faint, Santiago first asks the fish if it really has to kill him, then decides it has a right to do so, and says he doesn't care which of them dies.

Finally, Santiago pulls the marlin on its side and stabs it with his harpoon. The marlin puts on one last display of power, rising high into the air as it dies, then crashes into the water, spraying Santiago and the boat. Blood from the marlin's heart stains the waves.

Santiago takes a small drink of water and ties the marlin's corpse alongside the boat. Looking at the giant corpse, the old man thinks his eyes look like those of a saint in a procession. Santiago tries to figure out how much money he will make...

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Essays About The Old Man and the Sea