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The Old Man and the Sea (paper 1)
This is a story about a man who loved fishing, the sea and life itself. His name was Santiago. Santiago was an old fisherman. He loves to fish and has fished for many years but for the past 84 days he has caught nothing. The other fishermen are beginning to laugh and put him down and say he is not lucky because of this dry spell. “…Many of the fishermen made fun of the old man…” (Hemingway)
Santiago had one friend who stuck by him, no matter what, his name was Manolin.
Manolin was a young local boy who helped Santiago on the boat. But because of Santiago not catching any fish for so long, Manolin’s father said Manolin couldn’t help Santiago any more on the boat.
This made Manolin upset, but he still came around in the evening and helped care for Santiago. They played sort of a game. Every evening, Manolin would ask, “What do you have to eat?” “A pot of yellow rice with fish. Do you want some?” “No, I will eat at home. Do you want me to make a fire?” the boy asked. Santiago replied, “No I will make it later on. Or I may eat the rice cold.” “May I take the cast net?” asked Manolin “Of course.” replied Santiago. Manolin knew full well that they had sold the cast net and that there was no pot of rice.
Santiago would then take out his newspaper and read about baseball and think about his favorite player, Joe DiMaggio. He was always optimistic about the outcome of the games.
The next morning, Santiago sets out in the boat to find his big catch. He finds the Marlin feeding on a school of fish and sets his line with bait. He waits. He then felt a tug on the line and the Marlin takes the bait. The Marlin puts up a fight and starts towing the boat out further to sea. The marlin towed the boat for several days before it grew tired.
Santiago talked to the great fish. He said, “Fish…I love you and respect you very much but I will kill you before this day ends.” (Hemingway) Even though he felt this great respect for this fish, he still knew that business was business and that he would have to kill the fish and sell the meat. He knew it would bring a good price.
Santiago began to pray and said the Hail Mary prayer over and over. Santiago wished the boy were there to help him as well as to experience this great adventure. Santiago caught a fish to eat, rebaited the line and settled down for the night. The marlin was still attached to the line and pulling the boat but at a slower pace. “He is tired or he’s resting.” (Hemingway)
In time, the marlin began to tire out and the old man pulled the skiff beside the Marlin. He couldn’t believe the size of the Marlin. When he had killed it he set sail for home. It is during this time that the dead marlin was attached by several sharks, until all that is left of the prize catch is the head, tail, and a white skeleton. Santiago was exhausted and went to lie down in his shack. Manolin found him asleep in the shack and knew he must have been exhausted so he went to get the old man some coffee and newspapers and instructed others not to bother him.
When Santiago woke up, he told Manolin how he’d wished he’d been there with him. Manolin made plans to become his apprentice and let Santiago teach all he knew about fishing, baseball and the great Joe DiMaggio.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. McMillan Publishing Company, New York
Baseball and the Marlin (paper 2)
Santiago’s love of baseball and the admiration of his hero, Joe DiMaggio were what got him through the battle with the Marlin. Baseball represents a sport of physical endurance, much like fishing for the marlin took physical endurance. For the old man was in pain when he was trying to hang on to the rope. His hand cramped up on him. “God help me to have the cramp gone.” (Hemingway)
He loved baseball and everyday he would get whatever newspapers he could and read the sports section to see who was playing, both winning and losing teams. “The Yankees cannot lose. But I fear the Indians of Cleveland. Have faith in the Yankees, my son. Think of the Great DiMaggio.”(Hemingway) He wondered what the great Joe DiMaggio would do in each situation he faced. He knew that DiMaggio would not give up on a challenge and this gave Santiago the strength to endure this long battle with the Marlin. “Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one?” (Hemingway)
The marlin represented a great challenge to pull in because he was so heavy. “he felt something hard and unbelieveably heavy.” (Hemingway) If caught, it would mean the end of a dry spell of no fish. Santiago respects the marlin, and wished he didn’t have to kill him. Santiago knew the marlin could bring in a good amount of money. He also thought about the people who would benefit from buying the fresh meat, they would have plenty to eat..
After several shark attacks on the way home, the marlin is reduced to nothing but a head, tail, and skeleton. Santiago had dreams of making money, at first; from the sale of the meat but these dreams were quickly dashed, as there was nothing left. “Eat that galanos. And make a dream you’ve killed a man.” (Hemingway) Santiago felt beaten by the fish. The other fishermen looked at the skeleton and measured it. The think it is the longest fish they have ever seen at eighteen feet long. “He was eighteen feet from nose to tail.” (Hemingway)
They begin to respect the old man once again, and don’t doubt him anymore.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. McMillan Publishing Company, NewYork
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