The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

The book The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest

Hemingway, is about an old man, Santiago, and his genuine fondness of the
sea. Every day he travels out to sea to go fishing which is his occupation.

For the past eighty-four days the old man has not caught a single fish.

On the eighty-fifth day he sails out to sea as usual, and this is the day
that changes Santiago’s life forever. He hooks an unusually immense marlin,
and they have an agonizing battle for several days. Hemingway often compares

Santiago with the younger fisherman and describes various particular parts
about the beautiful sea. This allows the reader to learn that Santiago
especially loves the sea and is unlike the other fisherman. While Santiago
is going out to sea on the first morning, Hemingway includes numerous details
about the setting.

Some of the details are to inform the reader
that the old man really enjoys and values the ocean. One way which Hemingway
shows this is that Santiago refers to the sea as "la mar," a kind and beautiful
yet sometimes cruel feminine creature. Younger fishermen refer to the sea
as "el mar," which is masculine. Changing this to be masculine means that
they do not feel that the sea has any beauty or significance other than
for money. Another way that the author tells that the old man appreciates
the ocean is in one of his descriptions in the book. "Most people are heartless
about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has
been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart
too and my feet and hands are like theirs." Since Santiago has spent so
many years of his life at sea he sees the beauty of the sea and the beauty
of its creatures. This is also noted in another quotation from the book,

"The iridescent bubbles were beautiful. But they were the falsest thing
in the sea and the old man loved to see the big sea turtles eating them."

Santiago finds pleasure about everything in the sea, even after going a
disappointing eighty-four days without a fish. All of these are examples
of how much the old man appreciates the sea.

Other details Hemingway uses are to show

Santiago’s loneliness. He creates an image that the ocean is practically
the old man’s home. While out at sea, Santiago often wishes that he would
have brought the young boy, Manolin, along. Manolin is the only person
who loves and adores Santiago, and he looks up to him as a father figure.

Although, it might have been best if Manolin went along to assist Santiago
on these arduous few days of battling the marlin. Therefore, Santiago is
all alone, but he finds that the sea makes him content and at home. The
old man has fished for all of his life, which shows that he has appreciation
for the sea. The next statement shows his loneliness yet passion for the
sea, "He watched his lines to see them go straight down out of sight into
the water and he was happy to see so much plankton because it meant fish.

The strange light the sun made in the water, now that the sun was higher,
meant good weather and so did the shape of the clouds." Since Santiago
is alone, he finds comfort in all the creatures of the sea.

Hemingway’s descriptions allow the reader
to feel and imagine everything Santiago goes through. The author gives
the reader a feeling that danger is nearby when he writes, "The sea was
very dark and the light made prisms in the water." By foreshadowing, the
reader realizes that a dangerous event is soon to occur. There are also
various additional quotations in the book telling of Santiago’s predicaments.

This includes one about the sun which hurt his eyes very much in the mornings.

All of these descriptions allow the reader to feel precisely what the old
man felt. In turn, the reader begins to pity him, and it enhances the book
considerably.

Hemingway’s descriptions add significant
details to the book, The Old Man and the Sea. They show that Santiago treasures
the sea, his solitude, and add to the reader’s appreciation for the book.

In addition, they add feeling, make the book more realistic, and improve
the overall quality of this tragic yet triumphant story.