Adversity In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

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The novel, The Old Man and the Sea, is a story about an old man, Santiago, who experienced great adversity but did not give up. The author, Ernest Hemingway, describes how an old man uses his experience, his endurance and his hopefulness to catch a huge marlin, the biggest fish he has ever caught in his life. The old man experienced social-emotional, physical, and mental adversity. However, despite the overwhelming challenges, he did not allow them to hold him back but instead continued to pursue his goal of catching a fish with determination. Santiago’s character, his actions and the event in the novel reveals an underlying theme that even when one is facing incredible struggles, one should persevere. In the very beginning of the story, the…show more content…
He is so poor that he sometimes does not even have food. Manolin brings him his supper, given to him by the owner of the Terrace (19-20). On the eighty-fifth day, Santiago goes far out into the Gulf Stream away from all the other fisherman to catch a big fish. He is “alone and out of sight of land” when he catches “the biggest fish that he [has] ever seen and bigger than he [has] ever heard of” (63). To prevent the giant marlin from getting away, Santiago holds onto the line using only his back, arms, and hands. He does this for 3 days. During those 3 days, he has very little food, only some fish that he caught. While out on the sea, the sun is “painful” to his eyes, which is even worse “in the morning” (33). It brightly shines and blinds him, making it harder for him to see the marlin. Another obstacle the old man faces is when the rope cuts the flesh in the working part of his right hand and his left hand cramps “into a claw” (56-58). Although the old man suffers in pain and exhaustion due to the great size of the fish, the overwhelming sun, and his injured hands, he does not quit but keeps persisting. He does not let go of the fish. He maintained his strong desire to conquer the
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