Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of how an old Cuban fisherman redeems himself from a long time of desperation. For 84 days straight, the old man has not caught any fish, and it had led many to believe that the old man has lost his luck. But the old man thinks,
"Everyday is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready". 
So on the 85th day, the old man sets out again. This time, he catches a blue marlin. It has such a great strength that he could not raise and kill it on the boat. The old man decides to wait for it to become weak, while allowing it to tow him farther out to the sea. What was supposed to be a few hours of fishing stretched into days. The old man was left with plenty of time in loneliness, and it turned his thoughts somewhat philosophic with lines like this:
"It is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers."
To fully appreciate the story, it can be helpful to know some of  basic terms in fishing, since the novel's actions and settings center on it. The story is told in third person narration, filled with lines and descriptions that are direct, but heavy with messages: a  show of Ernest Hemingway's mastery in fiction writing. With this novel, Hemingway proves that skillful narration is most vital in creating a powerful story, the kind that moves readers to re-examine the values of humanity and the ways of society.

"He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her... the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought."

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