Sea Man Vs Man

915 Words4 Pages
There are many instances of failure and struggle in The Old Man and the Sea that are highlighted by Ernest Hemmingway which allows the reader to characterize and understand the circumstances and background of the “old man”, Santiago. The happenings and events of the text can be broadly classified into these two themes. From the beginning of the novel, various symbols were used to highlight defeat or failure, one being the sail of the skiff which the Old Man owned that appears to be the “flag of permanent defeat.” A further instance that emphasizes failure in this text is the Old Man’s inability to catch a fish for 84 days. These two examples of situations from the text allow the reader to understand the extent of defeat and failure the…show more content…
Hemmingway characterizes Santiago as someone who does not hesitate to destroy the marlin, but does appreciate and admire the fish. He believes that he can show more pride and honor in selecting a worthy opponent. Santiago shows passion with the struggle that the marlin puts up. This is a situation of man versus nature, but it shows the compassion of what one opponent has for the other. Another type of conflict that arises in the novel that the protagonist must endure through is man versus man. He must endure the emotional struggle of being isolated by his fellow fishermen. An example from the text is when all the fishermen are gathered at the terrace, Santiago is an outsider to this group. The only person who believes in the protagonist throughout the novel is Manolin. Even when the people around him told him that Santiago is bad luck and destined to failure, Manolin continues to admire and respect the Old Man, which becomes one of the most prominent sources of motivation for Santiago. Ernest Hemmingway further inserts another conflict of man versus self in the text. Hemmingway informs the reader of the internal struggles that Santiago suffers. With the loss of his wife Santiago must overcome his own personal sadness. The reader is told that Santiago had to take down the picture of his life, so that he could move on and overcome his grievances. These forms of conflict used by the author broadly classify the struggles and defeat that Santiago needed to overcome. The Old Man and the Sea is in a way the reflection of our constant struggles and failures as life progresses. How one must use these as points of motivation and perseverance is what Santiago exhibits, essentially defining his character. The author uses various types of conflicts to exhibit the same
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