Road to Victory in The Old Man and the Sea

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Ernest Hemingway, a fisherman and Nobel Prize winner, authored the book “The Old Man and the Sea”. The narrative unfolds in a small fishing village along the Cuban coast. Hemingway’s somber tone reflects his sympathy for the protagonist, as he highlights the numerous struggles the old man faces and elicits an understanding of his suffering. “The Old Man and the Sea” is presented from the perspective of Santiago, the elderly man.

The Old Man and the Sea centers around Santiago, an aging fisherman who believes his luck has run out. In his youth, he was a skilled fisherman, consistently reeling in plentiful catches. However, as old age sets in, Santiago finds himself struggling to catch anything. His young companion, Manolin, used to fish with him but was forced to abandon their partnership due to Santiago’s lack of success. After weeks of unsuccessful fishing trips, Santiago finally lands a massive fish, the largest he has ever seen. However, the fish’s size presents a challenge as Santiago struggles to lift it from the depths and it exhausts all his strength. Returning to the village becomes even more difficult because it is nighttime and ravenous sharks surround the fish, scavenging for their share. Helpless against the hungry predators, Santiago can do nothing but press on. Eventually, when he arrives back at the village, he is too weary to worry about the fate of the fish and promptly heads to his humble abode for an extensive slumber. Manolin wakes him and reveals that the sharks have destroyed the prized catch, rendering all of Santiago’s efforts fruitless. Nonetheless, Manolin encourages Santiago to persevere in his fishing endeavors because there is still much to learn about the sea.

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Santiago, the protagonist in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, is portrayed as an aged fisherman with a history of success in his craft. However, his fortunes have changed, and he consistently encounters misfortune while fishing. Nevertheless, Hemingway depicts Santiago’s eyes as lively and resilient, contrasting with the overall weariness of his body. Despite his old age and impoverished status, Santiago maintains a sense of pride and self-importance. Though aware of his struggle, he possesses an unwavering determination to persist in pursuing his beloved activity: fishing.

The enormous marlin that Santiago catches is considered one of the main characters in the book, despite being an animal. The entire plot revolves around Santiago’s struggles with this fish. When Santiago first lays eyes on the fish after three days of battling, he observes that it comes unendingly and water pours from its sides. In the sun, its bright appearance reveals a dark purple head and back, with wide and light lavender stripes on its sides. Spending ample time with the marlin, Santiago begins to communicate with it, referring to it as his brother. He perceives the fish as a superior being, surpassing mankind in virtue and nobility.

Santiago asserts his dignity by adhering to the values of a fisherman. His experience in this profession allows him to triumph over the forces of nature, symbolized by the colossal marlin and the relentless sharks. Despite knowing that he may not be able to bring back the entire catch or even a portion of it, Santiago persists in his struggle against the fish. After three days of intense battle, Santiago emerges victorious, achieving the greatest triumph of his life. This achievement fills him with pride and courage, making him feel like he rules the world due to his ability to conquer such an extraordinary fish. Santiago demonstrates that while a man can be destroyed, he cannot be defeated. Hemingway portrays Santiago’s hardships to teach us that enduring immense pain and suffering are essential steps towards reaching our highest aspirations. Hemingway emphasizes that acquiring something worthwhile in life requires dedicated and persistent effort.

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Road to Victory in The Old Man and the Sea. (2019, May 01). Retrieved from

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