The Old Man and the Sea

This paper discusses that, in Hemingway’s world of The Old Man and the Sea, growing older does not equate with giving up.

This paper explains that, in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”, Santiago fights mightily to catch a huge marlin fish and triumphs, only to lose the fish to sharks on his way inland, and yet remains undefeated in spirit. The author points out that the sea represents many things, including the feminine and life itself, and also the unknown and adventure. The paper relates that Santiago, an old man undefeated by time, age, and the sea, is a hero because he keeps going back into the fight, undefeated in spirit.
“Age does slow Santiago down, but he scoffs. His left hand cramps when he’s cutting tuna: What kind of hand is that? Cramp then if you will do you no good. (p. 58) He even draws strength from his younger days. He recalls an arm-wrestling match that lasted a day and night. He takes a nap, and dreams of lions on an African beach when he is young. It is as if, in old age, Santiago draws spiritual sustenance and thus, he hopes, physical strength from images and memories of strength. He is awakened by the marlin leaping out of the water, dragging him down to the bottom of the boat, and circling the boat slowly as Santiago holds the line.”