The Ending Of The Old Man And The Sea
‘But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’ These words can be called an epigraph, and a characteristic of Ernest Hemingway’s life. He was strong in spirit and body, went through the war, and tried to deal with all the worst manifestations of life, using his literary talent. This idea the writer put into the hero his story The Old Man and the Sea, which became the pinnacle for Ernest Hemingway’s creativity. He chose the path of laconicism, creating a story-parable and was not mistaken. Subsequently, for this work, he was awarded the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes. The author said about this work that it could ‘could have been over a thousand pages long,’ which would tell about the life of every villager, but all this has already been done before him. Hemingway wanted to convey to his readers a new experience, which ‘that no one had ever conveyed’ before, and he succeeded. He showed what can a person be capable of if circumstances prompt one to do so, and what faith in victory can do.
The plot of the book is very simple. An old fisherman Santiago goes to Sea for fishing. After eighty-four days of unsuccessful search for prey, he comes across a huge swordfish. It is so large and strong that, having swallowed a hook, it floats far into the Sea, dragging the old man’s boat with him. For three days and three nights, was a battle between a fisherman and a giant fish last. In the end, Santiago wins, but predatory sharks devour his prey. Instead of a beautiful fish that could feed many people (the old fisherman always thinks about it), he brings only its skeleton to the shore. It would seem that the hero should be humiliated, broken by his defeat, and angry with the whole world. But no! The old fisherman, a who has great courage, does not despair. He is sure that not today, but tomorrow, having gathered his strength, he will again go to Sea to catch big fish and try to win.
The central personage in the story is the old man Santiago. This is a person, living by his own labor code of ethics, and as if doomed to defeat. ‘He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream, and he had gone eighty-four days now without catching a fish.’ These are the first words of the work. The sail of his boat is old and incompetent, and the hero himself is an old man. He is not at all, like traditional young and daring heroes. ‘The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles on the back of his neck and deep scars on his hands from handling lines of heavy fish.’ However, at the very beginning of the story, the author seeks to talk about the strength of the spirit of this person. In the description of his appearance, there are such words: ‘Everything about him was old except his eyes. They were the same color as the Sea and were cheerful and undefeated.’ The eyes are called the mirror of the human soul; in this case, the above lines indicate that the soul of the hero of the story remained young, courageous, and strong.
Hemingway introduces us to his hero through his attitude to the world. Santiago’s friendship with the boy is full of warmth and understanding, which are guessed behind the simple words that they exchange. By the way, the image of the boy in the story is very important because it embodies faith in the future, the idea that a person is not alone in the struggle of life. While at sea, the old man carefully and sympathetically observes the life of animals, which he refers to as brothers. ‘He was very fond of flying fish as they were his principal friends on the ocean. ‘He was sorry for the birds, especially the small delicate dark terns that were always flying and looking and rarely finding.’ It is also interesting how it relates to the Sea. To emphasize Santiago’s love of the Sea, Hemingway contrasts his attitude to the Sea with that of other fishermen. ‘They speak of her as a contestant or a place or even as an enemy. ‘But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favors, and if She did wild or wicked things, it was because she could not help them.’ Santiago’s Big Fish is more than just luck, good catch, and good money. ‘Big fish’ is a symbol of the human dream, a desire to make or find something that no one else has been able to do.
Santiago tells his fish: ‘I have never seen or heard of such a fish.’ The theme of fish is repeated several times in the story. And the last chord in a peculiar song about fish weaved into the history of man destiny, becomes ‘a great long white spine with a huge tail at the end that lifted and swung with the tide. ‘What’s that?’ ‘she asked a waiter and pointed to the long backbone of the great fish that was now just garbage waiting to go out with the tide.’ ‘Big fish’ are eaten by sharks, just as a human dream dies under the brutal pressure of routine.
However, Santiago, although defeated, is not completely broken. He defeated the ‘big fish,’ he saw his dream, so the boy consoles him with these words: ‘He didn’t beat you. Not the fish!’ The story ends with the words: ‘The old man was dreaming about the lions.’ These lions in dreams are what remains of the old man’s previous life, of his adventures: and we understand that Santiago is not really defeated. That is, he is defeated by external circumstances – however, his spirit is still strong.
Santiago only believes in himself, but in a difficult moment, he still turns to God: ‘God help me endure. I’ll say a hundred Our Fathers and a hundred Hail Marys. ‘. That is, it can be assumed that in some way he believes, although all religious precepts do not strictly follow. He reasons like this: ‘It is silly not to hope, he thought. Besides, I believe it is a sin. Do not think about sin. There are enough problems now without sin.
I have no understanding of it, and I am not sure that I believe in it. ‘.
The hero of Hemingway has a sense of his own destiny as a given. The concept of fate is always inextricably linked with the concept of luck. The old man Santiago did not catch anything in eighty-four days; that is, he lost his luck. The idea of luck as something that a person can endow with his assistants has existed since ancient times. When the sharks destroyed his dream (‘big fish’), Santiago rejects the boy’s offer to fish together again, fearing to hurt him: ‘No. I am not lucky. I am not lucky anymore. ‘ ‘I’ll bring the luck with me.’, The objection says, and we understand that this is really possible because the boy loves him. The old man constantly remembered him when he was at Sea. He utters a terrific phrase, stunning precisely with its simplicity: ‘No one should be alone in their old age, he thought ….’. So again, like all the themes in the story, this thought is repeated: ‘The boy keeps me alive.’ The huge meaning of the story of Hemingway is hidden in this – for a person to be invincible, someone else must believe in it; to return, you need to know that someone is waiting for you.
There is no tragic ending in this story; the ending can be called completely open to the imagination of readers. This is the power of Hemingway’s philosophy, and it provides us with the opportunity to independently summarize the outcome of the story. The person of Santiago is a symbol of real human victory, which does not depend on circumstances and events. Using this image, the writer reveals the meaning of human life, which can be called a struggle. The main character is indestructible, thanks to the strength of his character, spirit, and vital positions, it is these internal qualities that help him to win, despite his old age, loss of physical strength, and adverse circumstances. The replicas of this wise man have many aphorisms that emphasize the creed of Hemingway, a writer, and a strong, courageous man… ‘But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’ Life is a struggle. Only in such a continuous struggle, which requires extreme tension of physical and moral forces, does a person completely feel like a person, gain happiness.
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