The Old Man and the Sea
The Character Of Santiago In The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway
In Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, published in 1952 is a story about an old man named Santiago who continues to get destroyed but never defeated. With his salao, spending time with the Marlin, and facing hardships Santiago is able to build himself up.
Firstly, when Santiago states that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated” he refers to his salao. Throughout the novella Santiago experiences major amounts of this, especially before his fishing trip. For instance, when Santiago and Manolin sat on the Terrace many of the fishermen “made fun of the old man” however, he “was not angry”. The old man does not let anybody get to him no matter what they have to say. In addition to his salao, Santiago is also very poor. While the boy and the old man walked “to the old man’s shack” it was evident that his income was not good. When they walked in Santiago had a mast wrapped up against the wall and it was “nearly as long as the one room of the shack” which shows how small his space was. However, this is mainly due to not catching a fish in the past eighty-four days, and fishing is his only income. Santiago does not let his poverty get the worst of him. Despite all his “salao” Santiago does not give up on fishing which is his life. He is a determined and avid fisherman and he refuses to give up. In order to not be defeated, Santiago ignores the truth to keep himself strong. He caught a massive Marlin who was nearly an equal match for Santiago. But Santiago was bound to never give up. Santiago refuses to lose hope. He is just out at sea only focusing on this big fish he’s been waiting to catch. He feels a connection to this fish. This connection is the feeling of being brothers because of their strength, inner power, and loneliness. Even when he was tired while fighting the sharks he felt very weak and tired. In his fight, he killed 3 sharks. Even though the fight was unfair because he could not see he decided to remain mentally strong. In the end, he won the fight because his mental strength overcame his physical weakness.
In addition to when Santiago states that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated” he refers to his hardships. Santiago has faith, but despite all the hardships he goes through he does not lose hope. Even though the other fisherman do not believe in him, and the boy does not go with him he still goes fishing by himself. Santiago has a significant amount of inner strength and confidence. He decides to go fishing again, even though he is physically challenged, and his inner strength is as strong as ever. By paying attention to the birds he was able to follow them which lead him to find this great fish. He quickly made sure that his line was set and really hoped that this fish would take a bite. The moment he knew he had this great fish hooked he attempted to bring it in, but the fish did not budge. Instead, the fish just went on its course which left Santiago sitting there calmly. One of the biggest forms of saloa that Santiago experiences is his loneliness. Throughout the novella, Santiago remains lonely. However, in the beginning, is the most important part. Santiago even has a picture of his wife to make him feel that he even has the slightest amount of company. The entire town thought he was dead, and even if he was alive he would have come back with nothing. Everybody failed to see his inside instead of his outside. Manolin, who was the only person who believed in him, was the first to rush to him and see if he was ok.
From the very first pages of the story Santiago is a humble man with little worldly success to show for his many years. “Everything about him was old except his eyes, ” says the narrator. As blue as the sea, they were “cheerful and undefeated”. His humility is not a sign of resignation; not “disgraceful, ”
Chasing Fish: Comparing The Ultimate Goals Found in “The Old Man and The Sea” And “Dances with Wolves”
We are all chasing our own fish. We’re all trying desperately to grasp something that is just out of our reach. For Santiago, the main character in Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea, he is chasing a literal fish. He exhibits exceptional amounts of patience towards this fish – as one must when pursuing an important goal – spending eighty-four uneventful days at sea in hopes of finally snagging the monster. Santiago sacrifices his physical and mental stability whilst in pursuit of his ultimate goal, and if one looks at the bigger picture, Kicking Bird of Dances with Wolves does the same. But, in order to compare the ultimate goals of the main characters, we must first deduce what Kicking Bird’s “fish” is. What is it that keeps slipping for his clutches?
Some could argue that Kicking Bird’s metaphorical “fish” is the white man, that he is constantly yearning to understand their customs and way of life. This would explain his inquisitiveness and interest toward Lieutenant Dunbar throughout the book. Though this is sound reasoning, I would argue against it. If Kicking Bird’s “fish” is the white man, then he would have caught it long ago when he adopted Stands With A Fist into his family. Kicking Bird would have been given the opportunity to examine the white customs first hand – however limited they were – from Stands With A Fist when she was younger and not fully assimilated into the Sioux culture yet. Kicking Bird isn’t wanting to only understand the white man’s way of life and customs, but his motives as well. He wants to fully understand why the white man is pioneering through the Sioux Lands, and what it is they are hoping to accomplish by doing so. By analyzing the book and Kicking Bird’s actions throughout, one could come to the conclusion that Kicking Bird’s “fish” is the understanding of the white man’s incentive.
When compared side-by-side, Santiago’s and Kicking Bird’s behavior towards their respective “fish” are nearly identical. Just as Santiago tolerates the marlin’s antics – regardless of how frustrating they may be – Kicking Bird is incredibly patient with the antics of Lieutenant Dunbar. Towards the beginning of Dances With Wolves, Kicking Bird observes a far more patient attitude towards Dunbar than others in the tribe. An example of such behavior appears when the Lieutenant tries to convey the word “buffalo” despite the language barrier. Instead of deeming Dunbar crazy for rolling around in the dirt and trying to leave like Wind In His Hair, Kicking Bird sits quietly and tries to decipher the meaning behind Dunbar’s makeshift skit. Kicking Bird also takes it upon himself to help the other members of the tribe teach Dunbar the Sioux language, a monotonous task that requires an extensive amount of patience. Why would Kicking Bird take on such a tedious task if it is not to gain what he is seeking, if it isn’t to catch his “fish?”
Kicking Bird believes that being civil with Dunbar will help him build up a trust with the Lieutenant, and forging such trust would finally allow Kicking Bird to ask what it is that the white man wants so badly from the Sioux land. Later on in the book, Kicking Bird comes extremely close to broaching the topic with Dunbar. He asks the Lieutenant how many white men will be passing through the Sioux land, and the answer Dunbar gives is a very ominous “like the stars.” Though Kicking Bird’s long-standing question is partially answered with how many white men are coming, he is still unaware of the reason behind the white man’s actions. He is still in pursuit of that aspect of his “fish.”
Both Santiago and Kicking Bird sacrificed much for their “fish.” They both relinquish parts of their lives to pursue their ultimate goals, and some of their actions yield harsh consequences. Santiago nearly dies of dehydration, and is forced to cope with the cuts in his palms and the cramps in his shoulders from fighting with the marlin for three days and three nights. Kicking Bird has to deal with the condemning attitudes of numerous tribe members regarding his acceptance of Dunbar. Both men finally made it to shore, so to speak; Santiago made it back to his home – however empty-handed – and Kicking Bird was no longer ridiculed for his fondness of Dunbar. Although both survived their respective chase, both essentially became the pursuit of their “fish,” and in the end, neither truly caught it.
The novel The Old Man and the Sea
The novel The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is set in a Cuban community whose fundamental economic activity and staple means of survival is based on the fishing activities and dependence of fish as the primary source of nutrition. The themes in the story are depicted and revolve around an epic struggle between a veteran fisherman and the ultimate catch of his life, which came after eighty-four days of failed endeavors at sea. The main character in both the film and novel is the old fisherman, Santiago, and his apprentice, Manolin who watches over the old man in his days of struggle and futile attempts riddled with bad luck that has seen him go for eighty-four straight days without success (Hemingway pg. 11). This analysis explores the strengths of the film in comparison with the original thematic concerns in the novel, the old man, and the sea.
The action and adventure film from the novel by Hemingway is a one hour and twenty-three-period film, a carbon depiction of the messages that the novel itself contain. The message that comes out clearly from the onset of the novel and the film is persistence and determination; not losing hope on one’s chosen trade no matter what. Santiago never relents despite the isolation that begets him leaving him with the young boy, Manolin who believes in him and is mindful of his welfare. In the novel, the sail of his skiff represented the ‘flag of permanent defeat,’ as most of the locals, including the family of his apprentice, saw him as a failure and jinxed person who could offer their boy nothing at best (Halliday¸ pg. 18). The persistence exhibited by Santiago show the honor in struggle and quest to never losing hope until that day when he finally landed a big catch, marlin. Even after the catch at sea with marlin, he still endures a three-day struggle to bring the huge catch ashore, warding off sharks and other sea creatures that continuously ate the flesh of the fish that he had finally landed.
There are different aspects that come into the movie more clearly than they are perceived in the novel. For instance, the pride and the moral belief that Santiago had in his line of trade was so immense that in the end only his heroic abilities and admiration by the people who had berated him as perennial failure became evident. In his inability to bring whole the fish ashore without the sharks invading his catch, elements of greatness rather than failure became more explicit in the end. To the person who perfectly understood and believed in him, he feels a bit disappointed and believes he should have done more to reassure him of his belief in him and asks personal questions the probable reason for his own undoing, the answer he gives is “Nothing…I went too far” (Hemingway pg. 178).
The mood that comes out in both the movie and the novel is that of sympathy and compassion that Manolin had for the Old man. The fact that everyone is withdrawn and uninterested in his affairs compel Manolin to take a keen interest in him and provide him with the basics that he needs in order to survive in the days that he fails to secure any catch, and they were plenty (Hemingway pg. 154). He offers Santiago, company throughout the times when he is not at sea and updates him on the topics of baseball sports through the newspapers (Halliday¸ pg. 14). That comes out clearly since the old man spent a significant amount of his time drawing the connection from the natural environment, considering the fish, the birds, and stars were the only brothers and friends. To show him more love and care Manolin was worried continuously over the absence of the old man for the three days he was at sea struggling with the huge catch he took most of his efforts to bring home. When he finally arrives and falls into a deep sleep from the exhaustion of the struggle, he fetches him some coffee and waits by his side to wake up. Santiago, through the little care and attention he received from Manolin, had rich energy free of fatigue, a spirit that was evidently indefatigable and made him feel more accomplished despite the reservations of observers that he amounted to nothing much.
The compassion that Manolo had for the Oldman was so boundless such that observers were standing by at times asked if by any chance they were related. For instance, in the movie, Pruitt asks Lopez if they are relatives, the reply that Lopez gives that they are only related ‘by affection. (Halliday¸ pg. 14)’ He usually wishes Santiago good luck whenever he sets out for the fishing endeavors, on most occasions in which he is all alone by himself, and he either talks loudly to himself or sings. The age gap between the two friends never at once became a barrier as mandolin believed that the old man was a great fisherman and that, soon, he will come back from the fishing activity that saw him absent for almost three days leaving Manolin worried.
Hemingway’s Code Hero in The Old Man and the Sea. Traits & Definition
Ernest Hemingway, a modernist,the author of The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell To Arms, etc presents unique characters in each of his literature compositions. Referred to as the Hemingway code heroes, these characters portray stringently enforced laws of behavior, which allow them to live up to the richness of their lives. Hemingway sets a good illustration of code heroes. These are not people bearing occult powers or people campaigning for truth or justice.
To solve the misconception, Hemingway sets in with his The Old Man and the Sea, featuring Santiago, an aged angler and an epitome of code heroes. Santiago displays many code hero qualities, including the three essential code qualities of honor and integrity, grace under pressure, and determination to succeed.
Honor and Integrity
Santiago lives his life with honor and integrity. With this quality, he passes for a code hero, as the author illustrates. He is a man who knows well that respect is two-way traffic, and for him to be respected, he ought to respect others in return. However, according to him, it matters less whether he will gain respect by the end of the day.
All he knows is that he bears the obligation to respect people as well as their decisions. Though aged, he enjoys the company of the young boy, Manolin. On one fishing occasion, Manolin tells Santiago, “And the best fisherman is you…No I know others better” (23). This drives home the point that Santiago is a man of honor, not necessarily in the field of fishing, but in life in general.
He deserves credit as the boy puts it. In his struggle with the fish, Santiago, as Hemingway’s code hero in The Old Man and the Sea, utters words that point out his level of integrity. He respects and loves, not only people but also animals. ”Fish, I love you and respect you very much…But I will kill you dead before this day ends” (Hemingway 54).
In addition, he uplifts the dignity of all people, despite their differences. He symbolically says that all of them can fish to show how he respects their varied capabilities. Building on these deductions, it is inferable that honor and integrity form part of Santiago’s life as one of the main values.
Grace Under Pressure
Santiago displays grace under pressure when he tries to catch the marlin and get it back home. It costs him his time, energy, and a good deal of patience to make the catch. Although he finally makes a catch, it proves hard for him to draw it into the boat. However, he does not give up. His eyes are set only to his goal, a token of grace. In fact, as his hands and fingers ache because of his struggle to pull the marlin, “He rubbed the cramped hand against his trousers and tried to gentle the fingers” (Hemingway 60).
The gentling of the fingers is the sign of grace during the pressing situation of his hands. In another case, Santiago symbolically graces himself with the words, “But I must have the confidence, and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel” (Hemingway 68).
He strives to imagine a day when he will be as great as DiMaggio, who is a famous baseball champion. He is his model, and therefore, even if pressed by life’s circumstances, as his fishing, he knows that he can pass for a great person. Thus, the author qualifies in developing the character of grace under pressure as possessed by code heroes like Santiago.
Determination to Succeed
According to Hemingway’s code hero definition, this is a person who possesses courage the determination to succeed, Although Santiago has not caught a fish for a very long time, he sails to the sea every day and is determined to succeed in the catching. Even after sailing far in the sea without making any catch, he never gives up. “Everything about him was old except his eyes, and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated” (Hemingway 49). His wide-open and cheerful eyes in his old age show how he is determined to live and not to die.
When he catches the huge marlin fish, it pulls him for three consecutive days and nights, but Santiago does not let go of it. In addition, the blood that the fish smears on the seawaters attracts other predators that fight to take the fish from the hands of Santiago. In response, he fights them back, killing as many of them as possible.
In the process, he says, “I’ll fight them until I die” (Hemingway 115), words that reveal his determination to succeed in taking the fish off the sea. In his claim, “…a man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated” (Hemingway 103), which is no more than a sign of his determination. Therefore, Santiago bears the code hero characteristic feature of being determined to succeed.
Santiago has the important code hero traits of honor and integrity, grace under pressure, and determination to succeed. Hemingway qualifies in defining a code hero.
Technically, he drives away the prevailing misconception about code heroes. The aged angler carries the day through the way he stands as an illustration of code heroes. Though aged, he stands out as a man of honor and integrity. He owes respect and love to all, whether young or old.
Moreover, as an angler and considering the struggles he encounters, he pictures grace in every pressing situation that comes his way. He manifests his determination to succeed when he decides never to let go of the marlin despite the other fish, which try to pull it out of his hands. To sum up, He exemplifies a Hemingway code hero.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2005. Print.
The Old Man and the Sea Essay (Book Review)
“The Old Man and the Sea” is a story of a modest old man and his struggle for the greatness. The plot is based on life of Santiago, an elderly Cuban fisherman who is unlucky in his fishing escapades. He is so unlucky that parents of a young boy Manolin, who wanted to fish with an old man and learn the skills from him, forbid him doing this and ask to sail with more successful young sailors.
The author was on the ground of the World War I, and a casualty of the war may be seen as the reason behind the choice of themes. Bravery, courage, pride and honor are virtues that many survivors of the war possessed. Santiago’s move to set out to sea all alone in order to redeem his reputation among his people is a bold move (Hemingway 22).
However, Hemmingway, the author, describes the boy as the one who admires the old man despite his parents discourage him from joining Santiago in his fishing, he still continues to care for the old man. This essay seeks to make a detailed review of the story, “The Old Man and the Sea”, its themes and relations to the real world.
The plot brings out the boy as being very caring. He is shown in the way he helps the fisherman to carry his fishing gear and discussing the latest happenings in the American baseball. Despite the old man’s unsuccessful fishing trips, the book portrays him as having a strong determination to achieve his aim.
In a highly sequential flow of events, the book explains how Santiago sails further away from familiar territory and ventures into the Gulf Stream. The author goes ahead to explain how the old man gets lucky and catches a big fish known as Marlin at midday. However, in a twist to the story, Santiago is unable to pull the gigantic animal to his boat, and the fish starts pulling.
The story shows the reader an image of an enduring man who is overcome by fear trying to save his life by all means. It is presented when Santiago struggles to bear the strain of the line hooking the massive fish with his shoulders. He does this in order to avoid tearing the boat apart and tries to hook on it. The story explains how an old man pulls the line for three days as the fish swims with the old man enduring this pain (Hemingway 40).
In this day to day sequence of events, Santiago is presented to the reader as an affectionate man who, despite the strain that the fish is putting him through, sees it as a brother in endurance, suffering, strength and resolve. Testimony to this, (the way Santiago feels it); the people who are going to eat this fish are not entitled to such greatness.
It is on the third day that we see Santiago is getting his catch into the boat finally. It is the evidence of Santiago’s endurance and determination because, according to the story, this is the biggest fish that Santiago has ever caught after number of unsuccessful trials (Bloom, 150).
In addition, the story brings out the anti-climax of Santiago’s happiness. It explains how Santiago struggles with the attacks of sharks that were attracted by the blood trails left from the fish. Hemmingway creates an image of a boat deep in the sea surrounded by sharks in the mind of the reader.
This is where the courage of the old man is brought out. He is seen trying to deter the Sharks from attacking him by all possible means. For example, he fights them with a spear made by lashing a dagger to an oar and beating them up with the boats filler (Gerry 80).
The old man’s courage and creativity are paid back as he manages to kill several sharks. However, he is left with nothing, as sharks manage to devour his catch leaving him with a skeleton, head and a tail. The man regrets his decision to go out far into the sea. He stumbles back home completely worn out and goes to sleep (Hemingway 20).
Despite loosing the fish, the old man achieves greatness without realizing it. The reader understands this when reading about tourists who watch a giant Skeleton with amusement the following morning.
Two themes can be brought out from this story. The first one is the theme of honor. Throughout the story, Santiago is shown as a person swimming against the tide trying not to be defeated. He is shown as a person who is struggling with the power of the sea without catching any fish for eighty seven days, but breaks his record by catching the largest fish ever caught in all his years of fishing.
He is seen as fighting defeat by sailing into deep waters; he is struggling with a marlin for three days, and fights off shark attacks. This theme shows that Santiago and Marlin display virtues of courage and strong will, and they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to uphold them. Santiago’s story does not provides him with the opportunity to change man’s place in the world, rather it enables him meet his most dignified destiny (Hemingway, 40).
The other theme discussed in this story is the theme of pride as the source of greatness and determination. Santiago’s character is created similar to all heroes of the world. In addition to coming out as strong, courageous and morally certain, they all possess a fatal flaw and pride. This leads to their downfall despite all the admiration that they receive.
Santiago, on the other hand, is portrayed as being proof that it is pride that pushes great men towards greatness. For example, Santiago admits to killing Marlin out of pride. Thus, pride becomes the source of Santiago’s strength. Without this pride, he would neither have ventured deep into the sea, nor would he have struggled with the giant fish for three consecutive days. Pride drives the old man to transcend the forces of nature and come out triumphant (Gerry 50).
In conclusion, it can be argued that this book tries to explain human nature. It explains that we are beings who, in most cases, are driven by pride while trying to achieve our goals in life. In addition, it tries to bring out the fact that pride does not always lead to downfall. Hemmingway illustrates that victory is not always a qualification for honor. It is brought about when one has the pride to struggle until the very end. In the case of Santiago, the glory and pride come not as a result of battle, but from his pride and determination to fight.
Bloom, Harold. Earnest Hemingway’s the Old Man and Sea. New York: InfoBase publishing, 2008. Print.
Gerry, Brenner. The Old Man and the Sea: Story of a Common Man. Michigan: University of Michigan, 1991. Print.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002. Print.
The Old Man and the Sea Research Paper
This paper delves into the concept of the story “The Old Man and the Sea” being connected to man’s fight against old age and time.
When examining the story “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, readers would be hard pressed to find a single theme that can be considered as the main point of the novel. For example, it can be stated that the novel delves into the concept of the desire for acceptance as exemplified by the character of Santiago who was a Spaniard trying to integrate himself into the local culture of Cuba (Hemingway, 1952).
On the other end of the spectrum it could also be stated that the novel itself delves into the philosophical and the metaphysical as exemplified by the scenes wherein Santiago considered the marlin as a brother or when he delved into a distinct introspection about his life and how he got to where he was.
It can also be stated that the novel itself has distinct religious overtones as evidenced by Santiago’s reference to the crucifixion in the scene where the sharks came to eat the body of the marlin. Yet, despite the sheer amount of possible references, it is the belief of the reader that this novel delves into the way in which the concept of man fights against the inevitable passage of time.
Man and Time
When examining the novel there are several pivotal scenes that exemplify the concept of man fight against time, these are:
a.) Santiago’s fight with the Marlin
b.) His desire to end his unlucky streak
c.) His stubbornness to simply not cut the line
d.) Refusing to show his illness to Manolin.
The events can be considered as character traits that many among the elderly possess wherein they attempt to fight against time. For example the stubbornness of Santiago to not cut the line is the same type of stubbornness seen by many of those with advanced ages wherein they refuse to give up certain activities despite the health risk involved. Refusing to show signs of illness is also a trait shared by Santiago and the elderly as well as the desire to end “their unlucky streaks” by accomplishing new activities.
What must be understood is that while the age of Santiago is not outright stated, it can be seen within the novel that he has advanced considerably in age. The fact that he has not been able to catch fish is more likely due to his advanced age hampering his capabilities rather than through bad luck. It is based on this that his desire to end his unlucky streak is actually his desire to actively pursue activities that his advanced age would otherwise not permit.
Thus, Santiago’s fight against the marlin is actually symbolic of how the some people fight against the passage of time. His stubbornness, determination and unwillingness to give up are all aspects shared by people in similar positions. This can be seen right till the end wherein Santiago refused to let Manolin know of his illness. In the end it can be assumed that Santiago, like all others before him, lost his battle with time and died, stubborn till the end.
Overall, it can be stated that this story was one that delved into the concept of man and time and how people stubbornly refuse to give in to the passage of time till the bitter end.
Hemingway, E. (1952). The old man and the sea. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Don Quixote Comparison to Movie “The Old Man and the Sea” Essay
The film The Old Man and the Sea was based on a short novel authored by, Ernest Hemingways. Although the original story was quite short for a movie, it did not stop John Sturges and the protagonist Spencer Tracy from cinematizing it.
This was mainly due to their excellence in that field, having had a vast experience in film making and acting. The story revolves around an old man with his ally, a young boy, a helper.
Most of his numerous years were lived on fishing. He is 84 years old and has experienced the most mean of times in his life with no catch at sea for several months.
This, however, does not stop him from visiting the sea for fish, even though people increasingly discourage him; the younger ones are thinking he is cursed, while the older sympathizing. This is the situation that he allows his boy to seek a job on other boats.
One day, he manages to catch a fish; however, using some evil design, he is attacked by sharks and enforced to fight until the end. The results are not as successful as he expected to get: he returns home with a huge skeleton of the fish he caught and has nothing to do but continue dreaming.
Don Quixote is a novel authored by Miguel de Cervantes; it revolves around an aged man known as Alonso Quixano.
He is portrayed as a retired person who loves reading chivalry books which are “with enchantments, with quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, amorous plaints, loves, torments, and follies impossible” (Cervantes 3). His setting is in La Mancha. He lives with both his niece and a housekeeper.
He becomes obsessed with his chivalry books and ends up believing every word in them. This gradually transpires into his day-to-day life as he loses his mind, or at least to his neighbors.
This is mainly because most of his new beliefs from chivalry are fictions and therefore practically unrealistic. This obsession sets him into quests, seeking for that which is only understood by him, unrealistic imaginations from chivalry novels.
Through his work, he acquires a friend and several enemies in Sancho Panza and traders from Toledo. His obsessed life is full of intrigues and dramas, with deception coming out as one of the paramount themes.
He plots two unfruitful escapes to pursue his obsessions and eventually comes back home with his friend from a failed mission, tired and in a great melancholy. He renounces chivalry with renewed restoration but continues in melancholy.
It ends in a sad note, as the protagonist dies, broken and sane.
Both stories, The Old Man and the Sea and Don Quixote have a number of common features as they are based on all those characteristics inherent to men who are challenged the world they live in; the conditions under which the characters live to make them put in a question the reality and everything they have to believe in; in this paper, a comparison of two characters from different stories will be developed to prove how life may play tricks with people who fall in love with it.
Common features in both The Old Man and the Sea and Don Quixote
Several features are portrayed in both stories, starting with the setting, Quixano is said to stay in La Mancha, but the exact place is not given.
This is same with the old man’s tiny house, only referred to as a hovel, they are peasants, living among peasants and face the challenges of poverty, and they struggle to make something out of it.
The two characters are in pursuit of something throughout the story. While Quixote seeks an imaginary life read from a book of chivalry, the old man keeps his faith in one day returning to winning ways in terms of catching more fish.
Even through scorns and massive discouragements are experienced, as seen from neighbors, this does not stop them.
Another feature that is quite common in the society set up is connected with the fact that the events which happen to Don Quixote take place in Spain, while the old man lives in Mexico.
These two places share several features and cultural interactions, which in turn could be thought to influence the theme of these stories. Pretentious happenings in the story of the old man as well as deception portrayed in Don Quixote’s story are considered to be integral.
It is also quite important to note that in both settings, people are poor, and suffers from the peasantry, as they do not get enough, even to eat.
This is how the authors make us, the readers, “augment our identity and refresh our stale store of experience in the act of surrendering to fictional lives far more intensely” (Gilman 8).
The characters have loyal allies, in the case of Don Quixote, it is Panza, while for the old man has the boy. They seem to follow their own will, and no one controls them.
In both cases there seem to be something out of reach that they seek, Quixote follows fictions in chivalry, while the old man follows his ‘dreams of lions’.
Quixote seems burrowed in books, his novels, which link him to chivalry fictions. These books are considered to be the main evil sources which promote the wrong perception of reality and inabilities to tough with reality (Allen 37).
Sancho-Esque and Quixotic Characters
Quixotism is the act of believing in unrealistic ideals; it may also be referred to as over-idealism, those who believe in ideas beyond facts and reality, this moves them to adventurous episodes, which in most cases fail.
This element is considerably bold in the two stories, with Don Quixote displaying it in most characters.
There is a clear elaboration of Quixote’s quixotic ideas, which seems to possess him; other characters are also caught up in this, thereby unraveling several intriguing events, which are quite unrealistic even to the neighborhood (Bloom 4).
Several characters display quixotism in the whole passage and both stories. Chief among them is Don Quixote, who becomes over-idealistic in his beliefs on chivalry; he shows no regard for reality and ends up seeking what is ideal and unrealistic.
This could also be seen in the old man’s fight with sharks for fish, carrying a skeleton of fish is quite unrealistic of a man of vast experience in fishing. These ideas are shared with other characters in the stories such as Panza, who keeps fighting to retain quixotic-ego even after his influencer.
In The Old Man and the Sea, the boy adds an element of quixotism to the man and helps him fight against all odd which take place around.
Sancho, an ally of Don, is a clear example of other characters whose interactions with the protagonist, gradually shapes into quixotic characters.
This is well elaborated in their return after the second quest where, Sancho tries to reinstate his faith, even moving further to re-ignite Quixano’s quixotism.
This is also conveyed when he goes in search for Dulcinea, Quixote’s ladylove, but comes up with three peasant girls. He even gets an imaginary governorship, proving more of his quixotic nature.
Other characters conveying Quixote element in the passage include the innkeeper who meets Quixote during his first quest for adventure. The innkeeper is said to dub him a knight just as Quixote had done to him.
The three girls brought to Quixote as his lover and her house cleaners also seem to portray a similar character; they come in as impersonators with illusions and over-idealism.
The element of deception that is brought by the secondary characters also helps to grasp the idea of live preferred by the characters.
Motivation for characters
In exploring Don Quixote, it is clear that his motivation is driven by his need to live a better life; it seems like he hates his current situation and wants an adventurous life that seems so interesting to the extent of obsession to him.
When he reads chivalry and keeps re-reading, he tries to convince himself that such a life is possible, this motivates him, and the thought of an adventurous quest further compounds the matter.
He, therefore, keeps with his motivation. Similarly, even though Sancho looks dull and manipulate, he later gains motivation and seeks quixotic renewal, although this fails.
In the old man’s story, he keeps the fight even amidst fierce challenges which include discouragements, realities on the ground as well as the sharks; he keeps dreaming.
Without considering all those doubts which appear in the lives of characters, the boy remains to be loyal to the man as well as Panza believes in Don Quixote.
Quest for the characters
Cervantes’ story covers a protagonist who is obsessed with chivalry and their lifestyles, he, therefore, escapes twice in search of such a world, but the reality comes back when he fails. Even though the failure seems expected, his quest is quite strong; the urge pushes him.
This is the same as the old man who explores his knight-errant in the sea, fighting to keep his fish against equally handy sharks, he also fails, but the hope is not lost. This is portrayed in his carriage of a skeleton of fish and dreams of loins.
These quests are also dissimilar in that, Quixote seeks a fiction, something unreal, while the old man seeks something real, he has been fishing his whole life, he seeks what he knows better, something he has spent his whole life and experience doing.
The two stories are similar in their settings, and their character’s personality in seeking their missions, this is seen in Quixote’s unrivaled quest for chivalry life, similar to old man’s quest for fish even in times of scarcity.
They both go out of their ways to find their needs, even though luck is notwithstanding.
In terms of what is sought, it is quite ironical and to some extent unrealistic in both cases, for the sea and nature to be so unfair to the old man, and a retired gentleman to turn mad, chasing the wind, all because of a library of books read.
The stories, therefore, contain elements of fiction, deception, pretentiousness, among others. These stories are admirably adapted, classic and consuming as they portray the lives of common people in the traditional society, featuring Spanish life and Mexican that are quite close given their interaction.
Allen, John. Don Quixote: Hero or Fool? Part II. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1979.
Bloom, Harold (Ed.) Cervantes’s Don Quixote. Modern Critical Interpretations. Chelsea House Publishers. 2000.07. 10. 2010.
Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote de la Mancha. BilbioBazaar, 2008.
Gilman, Stephen. The Novel According to Cervantes. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
Santiago and the Marlin
Ernest Hemingway is one of the best authors at using symbolism in his books. Santiago is an old fisherman who fishes out of a small Cuban village in the 1940’s. Santiago has fished for a living his whole life and the past 84 days he has not caught a thing.
85 is his lucky number, so on the 85th day he thinks he will catch something. Sure enough he hooks up with a massive marlin and spends 3 long days fighting it. Hemingway portrays interesting symbolism between Santiago, the old fisherman, and the marlin that he catches. In Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea, the great marlin symbolizes Santiago in many ways.
Being old and wise is one of the many themes that Hemingway develops in this novel as he compares the marlin and Santiago. “Like an athlete he forces himself to eat and sleep, although he likes neither” (Wittowski). Santiago doesn’t want to waste his time eating or sleeping, but he knows that both are essential for his success at catching the marlin. Santiago is an old man, but along with age, comes wisdom and experience. “I may not be as strong as I think…But I know many tricks and I have resolutions” (Hemingway 23). We all probably think we are smarter than what we truly are.
In the battle for his life, the marlin puts up a strong fight. Like Santiago, he too seems to be old and wise. “The big fish refuses to surface and begins to swim out to sea, towing the skiff behind it” (Napierkoski 197). The marlin seems to know that it must stay below the surface of the water if it wants to survive. Hemingway suggests that the marlin knows this because, like Santiago, the marlin is also old and wise. Over the years, Santiago learned many lessons. The gigantic marlin obviously must have learned many things too, as he had survived this long without being caught by a fisherman. Never have I had such a strong fish nor one who acted so strangely. Perhaps he is to wise to jump. He could ruin me by jumping or a wild rush. But perhaps he has been hooked many times before and he knows that this is how he should make his fight” (Hemingway 42). Throughout the novel, it is reinforced that Santiago is a good man. Even as he battles the marlin, he is fair. Like friends, there seems to be a mutual respect between Santiago and the marlin. “It is part of the ritual of the fighter that opponents demonstrate good friendship at every opportunity” (Wittowski). He is tiring or he is resting,” the old man said (Hemingway 62). It is not only a fight, but a game between Santiago and the marlin. This quote demonstrates that Santiago is wondering what the marlin is up to. Again, he respects how smart the marlin is and he is enjoying the challenge of out smarting him. Hemingway also uses symbolism as he describes the physical appearance of Santiago. “They were strange shoulders, still powerful although very old, and the neck was still strong too and the creases did not show so much when the old man was asleep and his head fallen forward” (Hemingway 19).
Hemingway suggests that although Santiago looked old, he is still young and strong at heart. Hemingway also vividly describes the marlin. “The fish came alive with his death in him, and rose out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty” (Hemingway 71). As he fought for his survival, the marlin jumped out of the water. Hemingway suggested that the fish was showing off, as if the fish was proud of his own beauty and size. Santiago grew a fondness for the marlin during his fight to land him. He respected the marlin.
Thus, once the fish finally died, Santiago actually felt guilty. “After the sharks have begun to mutilate the carcass of the marlin, Santiago expresses his sorrow at having killed the marlin; he has gone out too far from shore” (Wittowski). Santiago had won the battle with the fish, but he was sad to watch the sharks mutilate the marlin because they were also, slowly but surely, mutilating him. Hemingway reiterates through out the story how much Santiago admired the beauty and size of the marlin. “…the fish swam just below the surface; the old man could see his huge bulk and his purple stripes…” (Hemingway 68).
This is another example of that determination they both have. Santiago and the marlin were both survivors. Despite his many trials in life, he continued to be mentally positive and strong. Hemingway symbolizes this strength of character when he compares Santiago’s shirt to the sail. “His shirt has been patched so many times that it was like the sail and the patches were faded to many different shades by the sun” (Hemingway 19). Santiago is old and worn out like the sail, but he is also wise. He continues to face life’s many challenges, just as the patched sail continues to do its’ job.
The marlin and Santiago are not only old, wise and look alike, but they also are both strong, determined and persevere. “His body is old but still strong, and he maintains his grip on the line despite his age and increasing discomfort” (Napierkoski 197). This quote portrays Santiago’s physical strength despite his age, and his strong will. Regardless of his discomfort, Santiago showed perseverance. “He took all his pain and what was left of his strength and his long gone pride and he put that against the fights agony” (Hemingway 70).
Santiago wasn’t going to give up to the fish and the fish wasn’t going to give up to Santiago. “But the fish kept on circling slowly and the old man was wet with sweat and tired deep into his bones two hours later” (Hemingway 66). These words paint a vivid picture. Deep sea fisherman will tell how even fish a fraction of the size of the marlin Santiago is fighting are very strong and determined to fight as long and as hard as they can to survive. Santiago was determined to out last the fish, just like the marlin was determined to survive. His perseverance and will power allowed him to keep holding on.
Santiago was all alone fighting the marlin. He could not rely on the strength of his young friend, Manolin. “Without the boy to help him, he knows that either he or the fish will die from this” (Napierkoski 197). It was strictly a battle between he and the fish, and only one of them would survive. Hemingway demonstrates Santiago’s perseverance as well as the marlin’s perseverance when he writes “…settled himself against the rounded planks of the bow and felt the strength of the great fish through the line he held across his shoulders moving steadily toward whatever he had chosen” (Hemingway 43).
The marlin was settling himself in for a long fight and Santiago was preparing for the same. Regardless of what each other chose to do, they would both be ready. The symbolism between the marlin and Santiago is endless in Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea. The symbolism shows how the marlin resembles Santiago because they are both old, wise, persevere and they’re appearance is alike. Hemingway did a great job showing they’re resemblance and is definitely one of the best authors at using symbolism throughout his books.
The Old Man and the Sea and The Martian by Andy Weir
Imagine being stranded on a world alien to your own, unknown which direction you are facing, how long until the night falls, wondering if you will ever make it home to see your family again. One of the most fascinating human characteristics is the way we operate in Isolation. In both Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Andy Weir’s The Martian, the protagonists are stranded in places foreign of their own.
However, isolation in the middle of the ocean is a whole different ball-game to interplanetary isolation. Both Santiago and astronaut Mark Watney struggle through their hardships and become triumphant, never yielding to the insurmountable forces of nature despite their desolation. In The Martian, we watch as the brave botanist Mark Watney is stranded along on Mars, forcefully separated from everything and everyone that he holds dear. The planet Mars isn’t the most terrifying aspect of his predicament, it’s his crippling loneliness. Mars is a barren wasteland and I am completely alone here. I already knew that, of course. But there’s a difference between knowing it and really experiencing it (Weir 101).When Mark leaves the Martian Habitat to go out on the surface, he gets a brutal reminder of how isolated he truly is.
The Hab provides a level of comfort the presence of this man-made structure reminds him that his home is somewhere upon the orange hue of the Martian atmosphere. Mark’s isolation causes him to feel a bit crazy, and other times a bit hopeless, other times wishing he had a volleyball as a best friend. As we watch Mark endure these difficulties and suppress these dark feelings, a lot can be learned about how he copes with the powerful effects of isolation in comparison to Santiago. Mark’s situation is quite a but like Santiago’s, however in the old fisherman’s case, he is forced into isolation amongst his peers. He struggles with his loneliness, but distracts himself with tasks and catching the marlin. His choice had been to stay in the deep dark water far out beyond all snares and traps and treacheries. My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people. Beyond all people in the world (Hemingway 96). Santiago spent most of his life isolated from people, especially out in the deep blue. In fact, his isolation defines who is is, despite being a weakness.
However, his loneliness becomes a key element in his battle with the marlin. The theme of isolation is prevalent in both of these novels. In most stories, loneliness gives the reader a sense of urgency and impact for the stakes that the story sets up. Even though Mark Watney is a peppy, proactive character there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that being stranded totally alone on a planet 140 million miles from home is not the most ideal of situations. To make up for this, however, Mark uses his intellect and wit in order to keep his sanity while Santiago uses pure strength and endurance to accomplish his goal. This will kill him, the old man thought. He can’t do this forever. But four hours later the fish was still swimming steadily out to sea, towing the skiff, and the old man was still braced solidly with the line across his back (Hemingway 80). Santiago’s battle with the fish isn’t just a battle of strength-It’s a battle of wills. We can connect Santiago with the marlin because their endurance match each other, sharing a determination which ultimately separates man from creature.
Similarly, Mark’s perseverance is what keeps him alive. Mark uses his shrewdness to his advantage, taking the seriousness of the situation and turning into a learning experience. Sirius 1 was aborted after one hour. I guess you could call it a ‘failure,’ but I prefer the term ‘learning experience,’ (Weir 68). Mark’s mission on Mars is exciting, he can’t expect to do everything right on the first try. He keeps trying and is eventually successful; one of his more honorable traits. Both Santiago and Mark Watney show a connection through their endurance. They both, however, see their situations in a different light. Their vision of becoming something bigger than themselves is what drives them to continue on, even though it may be hard in isolation when giving up is just as easy. In The Martian and The Old Man and the Sea, the theme of Isolation is prevalent between the two works. Throughout the stories, we see the way Mark Watney and Santiago handle their loneliness, and how perseverance is a key role in doing so.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. Scribner, 1952. Weir, Andy. The Martian. Ebury Digital, 2016.
Christian Symbolism: the Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea may seem like a shallow book on its face level, but many extensive themes are evident throughout the book. Specifically, Christian Symbolism is apparent throughout. These are the themes displayed in my artwork, which shows Santiago as a Christ-Like figure. This is because he persevered through pain and suffering, and turned it into reward and victory, just how Jesus went through pain on the cross, but renewed his life and won. These themes are initially evident in the book during his struggle with the fish.
First, while the old man is fighting the marlin, his hands are cut by the fishing line. The cuts not only symbolize the wounds on Jesus’ hands while he was on the cross, but how he went through pain and suffering in his crucifixion. Santiago is a direct portrayal of Jesus and his suffering. The old man is willing to suffer and maybe even sacrifice his own life, just how Jesus was willing to do the same. Also during the fight, on page 107, Hemingway describes a noise Santiago has made, Just a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the woods” (107). This is a direct association of Santiago and Jesus Christ. This quote relates to how Jesus’ hands were nailed to the cross, and a sound he might have made when nails were driven through his hands into the wood.
Another example of Santiago being a Christ life figure is how he carried the mast of his ship up the hill and back home. This alludes to Jesus’ walk towards Calvary with the cross on his back. Also, towards the very end of the book, when Santiago lays down on his bed, Hemingway describes him laying down face down with his arms out and his palms/hands up. This evokes a picture of how Jesus Christ was suffering on the cross. He does this to even further link Santiago to Jesus. The whole story draws similarities between the two, where they both turn pain and loss into benefits and victory. Because of how often they relate, I chose to draw Santiago as Jesus to show this connection and how Hemmingway relies on this symbolism as a major overarching theme in the book. The parallels between the two drive how the old man is willing to sacrifice for the greater good, and the praise that comes from this sacrifice. He matches the two to relate to how Jesus sacrificed himself for the greater good of man. This connection also develops other, more face value, themes that Jesus and Santiago both show.
Santiago being a Christ like figure plays into the theme of perseverance. You must go through some discomfort and a fight to yield rewards. Persevering and sticking through hardships results in rewards. Both Jesus and Santiago went through tough times but eventually their struggles bore fruits. In Santiago’s case, the strenuous fight with the marlin shows this because he eventually killed the fish and ended his fishing drought. Also, the book shows how skill of mind is more important than brawn. Jesus didn’t actually fight people with his hands in wars, he used his knowledge of God and stories to gain followers and baptize people.
Santiago did the same where his knowledge and experience of the sea makes up for his weak self (being an old man). He may not have been able to finish the fish if he didn’t have knowledge of the oceans and fishing. Santiago won by outsmarting the fish, rather than trying to forcibly and physically beat it. Both used their minds and knowledge more, rather than their physical strength to do their work. It again shows how the mind is more important than physical strength. Santiago is symbolized as a christ figure throughout the novel, both Jesus and Santiago were fixed to their faith in times of uncertainty and suffering. Santiago is meant to symbolize Christ, his teachings, and his struggles during his crucifixion. All of these reasons relate to the connection between Jesus and Santiago, and it is why Jesus was drawn in the art, to show this relationship.