Old Man and The Sea (Q & A)
1. Heroism And Gallantry Of Santiago
Significance of fish
Q1: Nothing is easy says the old man in the novel. This is what Hemingway wants us to learn that every man has his challenges in life to meet. Discuss in terms of The Old Man and The Sea.
Or What do you know about the gallantry and heroism of Santiago? Elaborate.
Or How was the biggest fish the biggest challenge for the old man?
Or The old man was deadly tired, but still he did not give up. Explain how he had to bear pain?
Or It is said that fishing is trouble creating and trouble facing profession. Elaborate
Or Nothing is Easy in Life The Biggest Fish The Biggest Challenge
Or Fish I love you and respect you very much but I will kill you dead before the day ends.” 2002
Or Describe old man’s struggle with marline. 2003-II
Or Give Hemingway’s description of catching the big fish marline. 2005-Supp-I
Or The old man’s fight with the marline to the very end without being despaired. Comment 2008-II
Or How Far do skill and resolution of the old man count in his struggle with the big fish? 2019-I
Or He said Fish,” I will stay with you until I am dead.” 2009-II
Or The fish is Santiago’s friend or foe at the same time. Comment.
Or The old man’s honor depended on the success of fight with the fish. Discuss. 2005
Ans: Santiago, an old brave Cuban fisherman could not catch a fish for eighty four days. On the eighty fifth day he went into deep waters and hooked a big fish namely Marline which stood for the biggest targets having biggest challenges in life. Marlin was the hero of the sea. The biggest fish was the biggest challenge for the old man. The old man struggled hard to catch the fish for a number of reasons. The fish was a source of livelihood. It was an opportunity for Santiago to restore his lost self-respect and assert his honor on other fishermen. It provided him a chance to prove his mettle in order to remove the stigma of being unlucky. The old man said prayers to catch the fish. The fish was a great contentment for the old man. So he could not spare this fish at any cost.
Santiago prepared himself for the struggle. The skiff moved slowly off towards the North West. Santiago being an experienced fisherman did not pull the line. The skiff was sailing smoothly with the marlin. At sunset, he said, “I wish I could see him to know what I have against me.”
At midnight, he thought, “We are joined together and have been since noon and no one to help either of us.” Thus gallantry was pitched against gallantry. Marlin rose to full length and reentered the water. Marlin was huge in size and was two feet longer than his skiff. He was not afraid., He said Fish,” I will stay with you until I am dead.”
It was towing the boat continuously all the night. He addressed Marline by saying, “Fish I love you and respect you very much but I will kill you dead before the day ends.”
The sun was rising and the marlin was not tired. The marlin when gave a sudden movement forward, he realized that he must be on the alert all the time. He was feeling a cramp on his left hand. He was badly tired. His back was sore. He had nothing to eat except raw fish. Besides that, he was not ready to give in. He prayed for the death of the marlin and was determined to kill it, no matter how big it was. The old man said, “I will show him what man can do and what a man endures.” On the morning of the third day, the fish rose again and began to circle the boat. Each circle brought him closer and closer to the skiff. The old man attempted to kill him but in vain. On the ninth circle he collected his strength and derived his harpoon into his brain. Marlin fell dead. (317)
2. Encounter with the Sharks
Q:2 The encounter with the sharks shows the determination and courage of the old man.
Or Write a note on Santiago’s struggle against the sharks to save the Marlin. (G-ll, 1995)
Or Describe the Old Man’s fight with the sharks. Was he successful in his mission? 2002-II
Or Describe old man’s struggle against sharks. 2004-II, 2003.
Or Killing sharks ultimately would mean defeating death. Discuss 2004-II
Or Describe Santiago’s victory over the sharks. (P.U.2003)
Or Sharks do take away Santiago’s fish but they cannot break his will. Elaborate. S 2006-I
Or Describe Santiago’s adventure with the sharks. Was he able to save anything of the Marlin he caught? (P.U.2001 Supp)
Or Which is the greater challenge for the old man? Struggle with fish or fight with sharks. PU 2007
Or Fight against the sharks is the real test of all mans mettle. PU 2008 G-II
Or Of all the challenges faced by the old man, fight against sharks is the greatest.
Or Write a note on the heroic spirit of the old man. 2009-I, the old man is a great fighter2007-II
Ans: To kill Marline was not so much difficult for the old man as to save the marline from the attacks of sharks and to kill them. Of all the challenges faced by the old man, fight against sharks is the greatest and proved to a real test of the old man’s mettle. Sharks do take away Santiago’s fish but they cannot break his will.
On the eighty fifth day Santiago went into deep waters and hooked a big fish namely Marline after a great struggle. He secured it alongside the boat and set sail for home. The blood of the big fish invited the sharks to attack. The Old Man hit the brain of the shark with his harpoon. It took about forty pound of the meat of the big fish, the harpoon and all the rope. The old man thought the marlin’s blood would attract more sharks. He said, But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
After two hours’ sailing, two more sharks came. The old man tied his knife with the oar and drove it into the spinal chord of one of the sharks. They sank into the sea with a quarter of the marlin’s best meat. Soon after came the fourth shark. The Old man thrust the knife in to his hide. It took one fourth of the best meat of his big fish with knife before he died. The old man not accepting his defeat cried, “I will try it as long as I have the oars and the short club and the tiller”.
Just before sunset, the
fifth and the sixth sharks came. He clubbed them into death. But he knew that a
full half of the marlin had been eaten away. He said to himself, “I
will fight them until I die’. At mid-night, the sharks came in a
pack. He clubbed them to death. One caught his club and was gone. He then took
the tiller and hit on the sharks. The tiller broke and was gone. He then
attacks another shark with the broken tiller. The fight with sharks comes to an
end but nothing was left of big Marline except skeleton. 250/304
3. Search For The Fish
Q:3 The fish is a living character with intention and contention. Discuss 2005.
Or Describe Santiago’s search for fish. P.U. 2006.
Or The fish is a symbol of an ideal life for the old man. Discuss 2005
Ans: Santiago, a Cuban fisherman remains unsuccessful in catching fish for eighty-four days. He is optimist and does not lose heart. To catch a big fish is a great intention which definitely will bring great contention for Santiago. It is a source of his livelihood. The fish is a symbol of an ideal life for the old man. It will provide him a chance to prove his mettle in order to remove the stigma of being unlucky.
Santiago, the old man, says to Manolin that eighty five is the lucky number. He decides to go far out in the sea to try his luck. He is sure to catch a big fish on that day. The boy gives him the sardines and two baits. He rows over the part of the sea that the fishermen call it the great well. He sees sea creatures and hears their voices during rowing the boat. He throws one bait at forty fathoms down, the second at seventy-five, the third at one hundred and the last at one hundred and fifty fathoms. He watches the dip of the sticks while rowing gently. He imagines his big fish must be somewhere. Watching his lines he sees one of the projecting sticks dip sharply. One hundred fathoms down a marlin is eating the sardines. “Eat them fish. Please eat them,” he prays to God. After sometime, the marlin eats the bait. The old man thus finally hooks his ‘big fish.’ 226
4. Character Sketch of Santiago
Q:4 Write a character sketch of Santiago.
Or What are the main qualities of Santiago’s character?
Or Santiago is the central figure of the novel. Do you agree? Discuss Santiago as the hero of the novel. 2001-I.
Ans: Santiago is the central figure or hero of the novel. Whole of the story of novel revolves around him. He is a brave old fisherman. He fishes alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream near Havana. The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. His hands had the scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.
The Old man is weak, yet he has full confidence in his strength. He fights with the huge and sharks bravely. He loses everything. But he is not ready to accept defeat. He is a code hero in the novel because he displays the qualities of courage, dignity, honour, dedication and endurance. He has bad luck but he still dares to fight.
Santiago is always hopeful and optimist. During his stay at the sea for three days and three nights, all alone in his boat, he is always hopeful. When the sharks attack the marlin attached to his boat, he says, I will fight them until I die. He himself says, Man is not made for defeat. He never loses heart. He is a staunch optimist.
Santiago is an expert fisherman proud of his art. He knows how to row in different parts of the sea according to the weather condition. His knowledge about fish is also very high. Santiago is a symbol of courage, hope and faith. He also is compassionate and humanistic by nature. He loves birds, fish, sea stars, every lifeless object and living creature. (253)
5. Santiago’s Physical Appearance
The old man Santiago had not attractive physical appearance. He had ordinary features of a hard working labourer. He was an old man. However, the old man was judged to be the best fisherman of the locality. He was quite thin and lean. He had deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. There were brown spots on his cheeks due to exposure to the sun. His hands had the deep creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords for a long time. But none of these scars was fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless dessert. Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same colour as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated. His blue eyes showed his undefeated spirit of resolution and optimism. Every limb of the Old Man was old except his eyes. He called himself a strange man. The thing which made him strange was the undaunting spirit of fighting against everything which comes on his way. 170
6. A Strange Old Man
Q:6 Discuss the old man as a strange old man? 2006 Group-11
Or How is he different from other fishermen? (2002-i, II,)
Or Why does the old man not mind the derogatory remarks of the other fishermen?
Or Compare and contrast the old man with other fishermen. 2007II
Ans: Santiago is a strange old man. He is different form other fishermen. The thing which makes him strange is his undaunting spirit of fighting against everything which comes on his way and his being different from other fishermen. When he remains unable to catch a big fish the fishermen and the villagers give him derogatory remarks. They make fun of him by calling him ‘Saloa’. He does not mind it. The attitude of the other fisher men towards the old man is very inhuman and discouraging. No one is ready to accompany the old man except the boy. When old man reaches his shake with the skeleton of the big fish there is none except the boy to express the feelings. He does not mind the derogatory remarks of the other fishermen because he is a man of tolerance and patience. He is determined, resolute, courageous, and patient even in his old age.
Both Santiago and the boy are viewed by the village men as not really men. The old man because he is too old to catch a fish and the boy because of his young age. The community seems to have rejected both of them. To the other fisher men, success means to earn money but this is not the case with the old man. To Santiago, fishing is not only the way of making money. He says “it is a way of life. So he is an idealist while other fishermen believe in materialism. Other old men of the village are with out zeal and zest. But this is not the case with Santiago. He does not believe to give in even in the heavy odds of life. 279
7. The old man poverty and lack of resources
The old man’s life on land
Old man is a born fisherman and is as at home in the sea as any fish. He has spent all his life in voyaging and fishing. However, this amphibian lives on land as well. Normally he comes back in the evening, carries his gear to his shack, sometime all by himself, but mostly assisted by the boy. The old man has not regular source of income. He is dependent on fishing but he has been with out fish for the last eighty four days. He gets satisfied over a cup of coffee. “His life is full of sorrows and sufferings yet he is contented to his life. He lives in an ordinary cottage. He is a poor man. His life is very simple with limited resources. His shack made of “the tough bud-shields of the royal palm” is simply furnished. Besides, a table, and a chair, it has a spring bed covered not with a mattress or foam but with old newspapers. There are a couple of pictures on Biblical themes as well as photograph of his wife”, which remains covered in one corner “under his clean shirt” lest he should feel lonely. He has a fire place on the dirt floor to cook with charcoal.
There is nothing in his house to be cooked. He tries to put off the boy by pretending that he has “a pot of yellow rice,” for his supper, but the boy knows too well that the premised “yellow rice and fish” is a dream. In fact they go through “this fiction everyday”. Such a humble and ordinary person could not have anything remarkable in his person. 274
8. Santiago A Christ Like Figure
Santiago is represented as a Christ like figure. Like Christ Santiago undergoes pain and suffering. For instance, he feels as if the nails had been driven through his lacerated hands. He suffers a kind of crucifixion. Santiago fights and kills many sharks with his harpoon, knife and club but tows only a skeleton of the marlin. He is completely exhausted to his bones, goes to his shack, falls asleep and dreams of other days to resume his unending fights. The action of Santiago depicts his unrivalled courage to fight till his death.
Like Christ, Santiago shows the qualities of humility and compassion. The writer has used Christian symbols throughout the story. Santiago is an embodiment of Christian virtues, like piety, humility and charity. He belongs to the category of good man. He says his prayers or thinks of prayers in his own way. He loves and respects the marlin. His attitude towards various creatures of the sea is marked with kindness. Santiago’s hands have been wounded, and as he lies sleeping face down with his arms out-straight and the palm of his hands up his figure is saintly and Christ-like. This pose and posture reminds us of the crucifixion. This means that the world crucifies every body who struggles. 209
9. Santiago, A Pitiable
A Tragic Hero
The Novel as a Tragedy
Justify the End of The Novel
A tragedy is a tale of a great man who suffers much pain and distress. The hero is defeated by circumstances, but he does not accept his defeat and goes on struggling. In this way he wins moral victory over physical defeat. The Old Man And The Sea is an exciting and thrilling story of an old fisherman fighting desperately against the forces of nature. It ends on a note of pathos. He goes far out in the sea to catch a big fish. He succeeds in hooking a huge marlin. He succeeds in killing that fish after a tiresome struggle of forty eight hours. He lashes it with his skiff and sets sail for home. After sometime, the dead marlin is attacked by the sharks. He fights with them hard. He is feeling a cramp on his left hand. He is badly tired. His back is sore. He has nothing to eat except raw fish. His fight with sharks is a tragic incident. They eat away all the meat of the marlin and he is left with nothing but only a skeleton. The old man suffers a lot during the course of his adventure. His sorrows and sufferings are endless, which makes him a tragic and pitiable hero and wins our sympathies at the end of the novel. We pity his lot but admire his heroic spirit. Some critics and readers have objected this tragic end of the novel. This novel is surely a tragedy and its end is convincing and appealing. No other end can fulfill the purpose of the novel. 263
10. Santiago as a Code Hero
Hemingway’s code heroes face the pressure, violence and corruption with courage and endurance. They are men of action rather than men of theory.
In the novel The Old Man and The Sea, Santiago goes too far out for a really big fish and faces possible death. He is very old, has little food, little strength, and can no longer recognize the star patterns which once guided him. The marlin is strong, determined and weighs over one thousand and five hundred pounds. Santiago struggles with it until his hands are cut and bleeding; his vision blurs and he feels dizzy. Yet he stays with the fish. He is alone; no one is there to help him. He has only his courage and determination for company. He fights with dignity against great odds. Though he loses the marlin, he survives and wins a moral victory for himself by daring the sea and the great fish.
Santiago is a perfect code hero of Hemingway because he faces all the hardships with courage and grace. He does not become panic when he has no food. He renews his strength by eating the raw tuna. Nor does he is panic when his hand cramps, he curses it and uses it as best he can. Santiago stands for the moral code of life. For him disappointment is a great sin. He is an embodiment of endurance. He proves that a man can be destroyed but not be defeated. He shows that what a man can do and what a man can endure. He is a code hero in the novel because he displays the qualities of courage, dignity, honour, dedication and endurance. (276)
11. Fight against the Hostile Nature
Q: 11 Santiago is a skilful and humble man pitted against an indifferent universe. Discuss and explain. (P.U.1995/A,Group-l) ;
Or An indifferent universe is represented here by the sea/ocean and the creatures therein. 2010
Or ”’Santiago (the Old Man) is a professional, seasoned and skilful fisherman, pitted against the indifferent or hostile forces of Nature, that is. the sea/ocean and the creatures of the sea. Discuss and explain.
Or The Old Man And the Sea is the story of an old fisherman (Santiago). fighting desperately against Nature or the forces of Nature. Who does win the long run, the Old Man or the forces of Nature? Explain. ‘
Or Hemingway’s mysticism is that he feels one with the fish as part of the grand scheme of nature. Discuss. 2005
Ans. Old Man And The Sea is the story of an old fisherman fighting desperately against the forces of nature. It ends on a note of pathos. Hemingway feels the fish as a part of the grand scheme of nature. He seems to be pessimistic in this way that nature does not like to bestow her gifts on man freely and generously. Man has to use his intelligence, courage and skill to fight against the forces of nature. Santiago is a professional, seasoned and skilful fisherman, pitted against the indifferent or hostile forces of Nature, that is, the sea and the creatures of the sea. Santiago wishes luck, but he, at the same time, believes in the skill and techniques (methods) of fishing.
After his victory over the marlin, he fights with the more dangerous sharks, very courageously and boldly. Being extremely exhausted owing to his prolonged struggle with the marlin, he fails to defeat the sharks. He loses the marlin. He is beaten and destroyed in the cruel hands of nature, but he is not prepared to accept his defeat by the sharks, who are one of the indifferent and violent forces of Nature or universe. He laments to go out far in the sea. He says; “I am sorry that I went to far out, I ruined as both.” He believes that man is helpless before nature. He says, “Forces of nature conspire to destroy the peace and happiness of man’. 243
12. Moral Victory
Q: 12 What a man can do and what a man can endure. Explain with reference to The Old Man and The Sea.
Or What lesson Hemingway wants to teach as?
Or What do you mean by moral victory?
Or Describe Santiago’s moral victory against the forces of nature.
The Old Man And The Sea is the story of an old fisherman fighting desperately against the forces of nature. The novel shows that man’s life is a struggle against powerful forces of nature and in this struggle man is always defeated. A man may be defeated, but he must not accept defeat. He must be determined and confident during his fight against life. This is what Hemingway wants to teach us. Life is a struggle against the hostile forces of nature and life. If we cannot finish or defeat these difficulties or hostile forces, we should go fighting against them. Santiago fights bravely against marlin. After his victory over the marlin, he fights with the more dangerous sharks, very courageously and boldly and proves that a man can be destroyed but not defeated. He also proves what a man can do and what a man can endure. He says I will fight them until I die. He is not ready to accept defeat. The old man says;
They beat me, Manolin
They truly beat me.
The boy replies, He did not beat you. Not the fish.
The old man is defeated physically but he wins morally. He wins a moral victory even if he is defeated by fierce natural forces. Though certainly it is a battle on which defeat of man is inevitable. The old man loses the battle but with dignity, which is also known as moral victory. (240)
13. Various Themes of the Novel
Lessons of Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea shows that man’s life is a struggle against powerful forces of nature and in this struggle man is always defeated. A man may be defeated, but he must not accept defeat. He must be determined and confident during his fight against life. Santiago proves the theme of the novel that what a man can do and what a man can endure. Santiago fights bravely against marlin and sharks. The old man loses the battle but with dignity, which is also known as moral victory.
The second theme is that a lonely man surrounded by dangers and problems desires to have company and likes to say prayer. In old age this need is the greater. Santiago is sad in his loneliness. When Santiago feels tired during his struggle against marlin he says, I wish the boy was here. No one should be alone in his old age. Santiago enjoys the company of birds, fish, sea and stars. His dreams and memories also serve him as companions in loneliness.
The third theme is that struggle and effort are more important than success or achievement. After his victory over the marlin, he fights with the more dangerous sharks, very courageously and boldly and proves that a man can be destroyed but not defeated. The Old man also says, I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures. Life is a struggle against the hostile forces of nature and life. If we cannot finish or defeat these difficulties or hostile forces, we should go fighting against them. As old man says, I will fight them until I die. (273)
14. The Character Sketch of Manolin
Relationship between Manolin And The Old Man
Q: 14 What is the symbolic significance of Santiago Manoline relationship
Or Describe Santiago Manoline relationship as parable of youth and old age.
Or I wish I had the boy. Explain or Write down the character and role of Manoline in the old Man and the Sea. 2000
Or Give significance of Manoline? 2002
Or How would you describe Santiago’s relationship with the boy? 2004-II, 2005-I
Or Explain the relationship of Santiago Manoline. 2005
Or How does Manoline express his love for the old man? 2008-II Sup
Manolin, the boy, has been with Santiago since he was only five years old. He is very much devoted to Santiago and serves him like a son serving his father. They are joined by friendship, love and faith. Manolin serves the old man with love and shows him respect. The boy also tells him that he has to learn a lot from him.
Santiago cannot catch even a single fish for eighty four days. In the first forty days Manolin remains with him but after that he leaves the old man at the orders of his parents. He tells the old man, it is papa made me leave. I am a boy and I must obey him. Manolin continues to serve the old man in some other way. He helps Santiago in his fishing preparations, brings him small fish for catching bigger fish, carries the fishing gear and other things to his skiff, and brings him coffee and beer from the restaurant. He says, “I can learn and you can teach me everything.” The boy keeps him alive as he is the symbol of Santiago’s youthful strength. Manolin remains in the ideas and feelings of the old man. During fight, he often says, “I wish I had the boy”. He is keenly concerned about the old man and cares for his comfort and rest. He is Santiago’s only companion and friend in the old age. He is greatly worried at his weakness and fatigue. On seeing his wounded hands he begins to cry, brings food and coffee for him. He declares, Now we fish together again. He also tells the other fishermen that he is sleeping and they should not disturb him. So, Manolin is shown as obedient, respectful and sincerely devoted apprentice of the old man. 297
15. LONELINESS OF THE OLD MAN
THE OLD MAN’S ISOLATION
When the voyage begins, we are told that old man knew he was going far out and that he left the smell of the land behind. On the sea there was loneliness. He was an old man who fished alone in a stiff. On the sea he talks to himself aloud on many occasions and in various contexts. This is the only way for him to fight the complete silence around him. He wants to get confidence that he is not alone. All this strength and determination come from inside; even the thoughts of the boy and the African lions which partly sustain his strength and courage pertain to his inner subjective life. He confronts the marlin all by himself; gradually he begins to respect and love his adversary calling it friend and brother even though he is determined to kill it. The entire experience of the old man spread over two days which is rich in significance and meaning. This experience may symbolically be treated as life in miniature. The old man has truly lived, and his experience is comprehensive enough to convey the spiritual sufficiency of what he has been through. He does not allow his loneliness to hamper his path. Sea with its loneliness has taught him to fight against adverse circumstances. (215)
17. SOLILOQUY OF THE OLD MAN
MONOLOGUE OF THE OLD MAN
Q:8 Define the term ‘Soliloquy’. How does the old man break his loneliness?
‘Soliloquy’ means speaking out one’s thoughts to oneself aloud when no one else is about The Old Man and the Sea deals with the loneliness and soliloquy of Santiago. When the voyage begins, we are told that the old man knew he was going far out and that he left the smell of the land behind. On the sea he talks to himself aloud on many occasions in various contexts. All his strength and determination comes from inside; even the thoughts of the boy and the American lions which partly sustain his strength and courage pertaining to his inner subjective life. He breaks his loneliness in the following manners.
He lives in the company of sea birds and other living and non-living creatures. He loves them and talks to them whenever he feels lonely.
Santiago says, No man was ever alone on the sea. He talks with the baited marlin and other sorts of friends.
He kills his loneliness by remembering the boy. He also remembers his memories of the past and the baseball game.
Through dreams about the loins on the beach of Africa, he gets energy and strength. (194)
18. SANTIAGOS OPTIMISM
PILLARS OF SUCCESS
PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
(2008-II, 1999-S, 2006-I, 2000, 2005-I)
He tells his philosophy of life through Santiago. His philosophy of life is that struggle and effort are more important than success or achievement. Santiago proves it.
The old man in spite of his courage and determination comes to nothing. The message or theme of the novel is optimistic. Hemingway stresses upon the positive values of life. He impresses upon us the greatness of man. Santiago has firm faith in the dignity of man. He does not lose heart even in a difficult and odd situation of life. Santiago’s victory is moral victory of having fought to the last for his aim. Santiago’s message is the message of hope and courage. Hope and confidence along with hope are the two pillars of success. Santiago says that every to him is new. The old man sustains his hope and optimism till the end of the novel when he is ready to go on another expedition in spite of his failure. We get the idea, from the novel, that man is an embodiment of endurance. He has the ability to ignore physical pain when he is fighting for a great object. Man should not lose heart at any stage of life. He remains hopeful of better future in spite of his defeat. (183)
19. THE SEA AS A LIVING BEING
Q:9 Is Ocean (Sea) in the novel, The Old Man And the Sea, a living being? Justify or otherwise. (P.U.96/SG – 1)
Or Discuss the Ocean (Sea) as a living character In the novel, The Old Man And the Sea. (P.U.2001/2008
Or Explain the role of Nature in the novel. The Old Man And the Sea P.U.1997/S.
Or Describe the symbolic significance of the Ocean in the novel, The Old Man And The Sea.
Or The sea/ocean is a living being. Elaborate. P.U.2004/A.G-l
Ans: In Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man And the Sea, the ocean (sea) is indeed a very important character, a living character,a real character like the human beings. It has its own role to play in the story of this novel. It has its own relations with other characters of the novel.
It has a great symbolic significance. As ocean is one of the mighty forces of Nature, its role also may be called the role of Nature or Universe or Destiny. The old man thinks of the sea as a masculine character.
Like other living beings, the ocean has its own taste, voices, colours, atmosphere and times. Sometimes it proves terrible when it is stormy but mostly it is gentle. At the end, it treats Santiago rather cruelly with the provision of sharks to eat up his hunted fish, marlin, a huge fish.
It also plays a good role in giving him continuous supply of food in the form of tunas, shrimps, dolphins and flying fish. It also plays a good role when it lets him sail back peacefully. This denotes the kind attitude of the ocean to wards the old man.
In this novel, the Ocean, one of the mighty forces of Nature/Destiny/Universe, also proves to be a good teacher for the sailors or fishermen. For Santiago, the ocean (sea) does a lot when he is all alone on its surface with a skiff, far away from the world of men. It assumes the role of a moral teacher for the Old Man. It teaches him how to resign to his fate. It teaches him to invoke God, Christ and Mary for help in his ordeal. He prays to God first to let the fish be baited and then to release him of the cramp of his left hand. 301
20. HEMINGWAYS STYLE
HEMINGAY’S PROSE STYLE
Q:10 Discuss briefly Hemingway’s prose style. P.U. 2006.
Q:11 Is Hemingway’s style unique and superb?
Ans. Hemingway’s literary prose style is universally recognized. His prose style is probably the most widely imitated in the 20th century. It represents one of the great responses of that literature of war. homelenssness and broken faith. It is a prose whose great uotentien is to get straight, “the facts of the matter.” This^rose style is greatly colloquial and simple. Typically the sentences are short and declarative. The aim, as Hemingway often said, was to get the thing “the way it was.”
Hemingway’s prose style is easily recognized. It is chiefly characterized by a conscientious simplicity of diction and sentence-structure. The words are normally short, resonant and common ones. There is a strict economy, and also a curious freshness, in their use. His words strike us as if they were pebbles fetched fresh from a brook. The effect is of crispness, cleanness, clarity and a conscious care. The impression, therefore, is of intense objectivity. There are many examples in the novel, “The Old Man and The Sea’ that prove Hemingway’s simple diction. ‘Everyday is a new day,1 everything about him was old except his eyes,’ ‘his hope and his confidence had never gone,’ and so on.
The dialogue is equally striking in Hemingway’s prose style. He had an acute ear for the accents and mannerisms of human speech. That is why, he was able to bring a character quickly to life. The conversation is, however, far from a simple reproduction of the way people talk. The dialogue strips speech to an essential pattern of mannerisms and responses. It gives an illusion of reality that reality itself would not give. The novel is replete with such dialogues such as, “who is the greatest manager, really, Luque or Mike Gonzalez?”
“I think they are equal.”
“And the best fisherman is you.”
No. I know others better.” Que’va” the boy said. “There are many good fisherman and some great ones. But there is only you.”
Another example is quoted that surfaces reality itself. Now we fish together again.”
“No I am not lucky. I am not lucky anymore.”
“The hell with luck,” the boy said. “I’ll bring the luck with me.”,
It proves that Hemingway’s use of dialogue was similarly fresh, simple and natural-sounding.
Hemingway’s style is characterized by crispness, freshness, straight dialogue and emotional understatement. His writings brought a profound influence on American writers of his time. He is the genuine writer who brings • i ward ideas through first hand writing expression. He does not 1:0 beyond his personal experiences. That is why, he is ai, M> in every word, in every sentence, in every para and in every ape of his writings. It is simple, straight forward and unembellished. He tells us the story in what might be called straight journalism but because he is a master of transmitting emotion. A study of his dialogue will reveal us that this is really the way people really speak. But there is no spontaneity in his style. His several-years in newspaper job make him to report facts crisply.
The style is simple, even to the point of monotony. The characteristic sentence is simple, or compound; and if compound, then- is no implied subtlety in the co-ordination of the clauses. He paragraph structure is, characteristically, based on a simple sequence. There is an obvious relation between his style and the characters and situations with which the author is concerned. He is also a poet. His sensation to the light, colour, and atmosphere of particular places is lyrical. His ability to suggest an emotional atmosphere is remarkable. He is unquestionably a master in literary craftsman. It is different style that won him the Noble Prize for Literature. (171)
21. HEMINGWAYS CONVERSATIONAL STYLE
Q:12 Write a note on Hemingway’s use of dialogues in conversational style.
Ans: Ernest Hemingway’s style is simple, straight forward and thought-provoking. A study of his dialogue reveals that this is the way people really speak. His several years in newspaper job make him to report facts crisply. When Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954, the committee cited his powerful style forming mastery of the art of modern narration. Throughout the novel, we are struck by the down-to-earth conversations. By putting the raw language of everyday life into literature he has made a major contribution to writing in our times Hemingway is also a poet, which is an added quality. He is unquestionably a master literary craftsman. There is an obvious relation between his style and the characters and situations with which the author is concerned. The paragraph structure is characteristically based on a simple sequence. Hemingway is considered the master of dialogue which is simple, with an occasional emphasis and repetition. Instead of complex and difficult sentences he uses simple and compound sentences. (166)
22. SANTIAGO’S FAITH IN RELIGION
Q:13 Explain the following extract.
I am not religious , he said, But I will say ten our fathers and ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish, and I promise-to make a pilgrimage to the virgin of cobre if I catch him. That is a promise.
Or Write a note on Santiago’s faith in religion.OrThe old man as a religious person. Or Is Santiago a superstitious man? Or Is the old man a true charistian? Or Is the old man believer of Christianity? 1995-I,1996-I, 2001-S
Ans: Ernest Hemingway always writes with a purpose. In The Old Man and The Sea, he has stressed upon moral values in particular. Santiago is an embodiment of moral values which make him a true Christian and a morally sound person. He has the Christian virtues of compassion, humility and piety.
Santiago is a brave old fisherman man. He leads a life of contentment, piety, patience, sacrifice, simplicity, and resolution. He is a complete and devoted Christian. Among other moral values, one more prominent value is his love for religion. His faith in God and his love for Christ and Mary are his strongest weapons in his battle against the marlin and sharks in the sea. His faith in religion inspires him to fight with courage whenever he loses courage. Like a true religious man he declares that he does not consider himself a religious man in a true sense. Santiago is a humble man and is always aware of his limitations as an old and poor man. He promises to offer prayers for ten times that if he succeeds in catching the fish. He also promises to perform pilgrimage to the shrine of Virgin of Cobre after he has caught the fish. So, this attitude of Santiago shows his faith and love for religion. (211)
23. UNIVERSAL MASSAGE
Q:14 But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. Explain.
Ans: In his struggle with the marlin, Santiago does not lose heart or experience a feeling of helplessness or despair. After his victory over the marlin, he fights with the more dangerous sharks very courageously and boldly. They prove to be an even more formidable enemy than the Marlin. His utterance after he has killed the first shark acquires a great significance. But man is not made for defeathe said A man can be destroyed but not defeated. It is a universal message. The old man shows that man’s life is a struggle against powerful forces of nature and in this struggle man is always defeated. A man may be defeated, but he must not accept defeat. He must be determined and confident during his fight against life. He is beaten and destroyed, but he is not prepared to accept his defeat by the sharks, who are one of the indifferent and violent forces of Nature or universe. The old man says;
They beat me, Manolin
They truly beat me.The boy replies, He did not beat you. Not the fish.
The old man is defeated physically but he wins morally. 189
24. SANTIAGO’S DREAMS
IMPORTANCE OF PAST MEMORIES
Q:15 Write a note on the old man’s dreams. Or What the importance is of dreamt in the novel? P.U 1996, 2001. or What do the dreams of lions indicate? Explain the following extract. Or He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places and of the lions on the beach. Or What does Santiago dream about? What does that dream signify? PU-Q6G-I
Ans: The dreams of lions have great importance Santiago’s life because they remind him of youth. He gets courage, hope, inspiration, will power and strength from them in the hour of trouble. Santiago was especially in a happy mood whenever he talked of lions and their movements. In the beginning of the novel, he told Manolin happily that in his childhood he had seen lions on the beaches of Africa. Santiago was in a habit of dreaming of lions, the boy, DiMaggio and his contest with a Negro in his youth. Dreams have played a vital and symbolic role in the novel. Santiago had spent an energetic life as a fisherman. He had faced great storms, fought many contests of hand-game and caught big fish. He dreamed of all these things in his old age. These dreams helped him to forget his loneliness and helplessness. Hemingway tells us during the adventure with the giant fish and then fight with sharks, he no more wanted to dream of storms, of women, of great fish, of his beloved wife or competitions of strength. He wanted to dream of only lions on the beach of Africa. These lions would give him strength and courage. In his childhood, he had seen lion playing on the African seacoast. The image of playful beasts he kept alive in his mind ever afterwards. He also wished to have bpyvwitli him during the fight with the big fish and sharks. The novel, in a way presents the wisdom and experience of old age joined with the youthful energy of ManoHri and naked power of the lions. 268
25. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA AS A SYMBOLIC
‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is aptly a symbolic novel. Symbol is a literary term used to show something else mentioned in the lines. Each of its character and incident represents human life and its values in broader sense. Hemingway treats his art as exactly as the old man treats his vocation of fishing. The novel is full of symbolic meanings.
The old man stands for the courageous men who fight fearlessly for their rights. His going into deep sea represents commission of mistakes and man’s suffering because of them. It also shows human being in conflicts with the forces of nature.
Christian allegory has been used in this novel to link Santiago with Jesus Christ. Like Christ Santiago undergoes pain and suffering. For instance, he feels as if the nails had been driven through his lacerated hands. He suffers a kind of crucifixion.
Like Christ, Santiago shows the qualities of humility and compassion. The writer has used Christian symbols throughout the story. Santiago is an embodiment of Christian virtues, like piety, humility and charity. His dreams of lions show his daring psychology.
The sharks symbolise the cruel and greedy forces which are bent upon snatching the fruits of the hard labour of a man. Marline represents high aims and ambitions of human being. The continuous resistance of the marlin shows that the way to success is full of hardships. In human experience, there are many forms of both marlin and sharks.
The sea represents life in general. It is full of happiness and unknown dangers. Same is human life which is always unpredictable. Manolin the young boy is the youth of the man. The old man’ wish to have boy with him represents that wish and remembrance of youth and good times are always tied with human life. Hand game with negro represents the physical strength of Santiago. Thinking of Di Maggio shows the source of inspiration. The old man’s attachment with Manolin indicates man’s need for other human beings. We may conclude that The Old Man and the Sea is a great allegorical novel.
26. ARRIVAL TO THE COTTAGE
Q:16 The old man’s arrival to the cottage(2003,2008)
Manolin and other people were affected by the sight of] the skeleton of the Marlin.
Or Write a note on the arrival of the Old Man to his cottage j after he fights against the sharks.
Or Describe the last scene of the novel. (2003- Supp)
Or At the end of the novel only a skeleton of the gold fish is j left. Elaborate. (2004 Group-l)
Ans: The long struggle against the sharks had made the old completely exhausted. The taste of his mouth had become metallic. When he coughed and spitted into the sea, it was mixed with blood. He lay down in the rear of the boat to feel at ease. In order to protect himself from cold, he spread an empty sack on his back and shoulders. The Old Man had now been freed of all worries and fears. A few more sharks came to the skeleton of the marlin, but the Old Man did not bother about them much. At last Santiago saw the lights of the coastal colony. When he entered the harbour, there was deep silence prevailing on all sides. All the lights of the Terrace had been put out, and there was no one to be seen outside. The Old Man imagined that all the people would be resting in their comfortable beds. He thought that the comfortable bed was a great blessing of God. He took his boat to the foot of a rock and tied it there. There was no one to help him. He folded the sails and carried the mast on his shoulder. When he was climbing the shore slowly, he realised how dead tired he was. He stopped for a moment and turned to look at the great marlin that had been reduced to a mere skeleton and was lashed to his boat. He had to sit down five times for rest before reaching his shack.
After entering his cottage, the Old Man put the mast against the wall. Then he took a glass of water from the pitcher and sprawled himself on the bed. He pulled the blanket up to his shoulders and fell asleep, with his face turned down and the palms of his hands turned upwards. He presented the picture of Christ crucified. (311)
Reaction of the People (2007)
In the morning many fishermen gathered round the boat of the Old Man. They understood what had happened to him. On the one hand, they admired him for his bravery in catching such a huge fish in the deep sea without any aid. On the other hand, they felt sorry for his bad luck that his bailed fish was eaten away by the sharks. One of the fishermen went into water and started measuring the skeleton of the big fish. He declared that the marlin was more than eighteen feet long. All of them agreed that no one else had ever caught such a huge fish. That day a group of tourists also came that way. A woman and her husband were wonderstruck to see the huge skeleton and head of the marlin. 133
27. SIGNIFICANCE OF DIMAGGIO
Q:17 Why does he compare himself with his favorite base bailer Di-Maggio? P.U. 1QQ9. Or What are qualities of DiMaggio that the old man takes a lot of inspiration? 2004. Or Write a brief character sketch of DiMaggio, a baseball player. Or Why was Santiago so fond of DiMaggio? Discuss.
Ans: DiMaggio is the hero of Santiago’s mind. He remains present throughout the novel but does not appear physically before the reader. He is a favourite player of baseball. Santiago remembers and mentions him whenever he is under pressure. -To avoid the agony, he once again recalls the memory of DiMaggio’s father who was a fisherman. The memory of baseball and great DiMaggio encourages Santiago in his struggle to catch Marlin and to defend it against sharks DiMaggio is very famous player of baseball. He is Yankeg. Santiago –mentions DiMaggio while having conversation with Manolin. Santiago hajs^rrqjaithjjn^the team of Yankees. He says, “The Yankees cannot lose.” When, Manolin mfprms Santiago that the Yankees had lost the match, his faith in DiMaggio’s abilities is not shaken.
Santiago tells Manolin that DiMaggio’s father was a fisherman. He wishes that DiMaggio should have been a fisherman, too. Santiagoialks to himself about DiMaggio, when he is alone at the sea. He longs for a radio to know ab^iif DiMaggio. He remembers the big leagues when he sees the big marlin. TheJthought of DiMaggio gives him courage. He thinks that he must be worthy of DjMaggiofefc is the symbol of courage and endurance because could play despite pain an’d^siiffering. The old man says, “DiMaggio does all things perfectly even/v^Lth/he jpain of the bone spur in his heel.” The old man want himself *to Be, perfect and exact. So DiMaggio is a source of endurance , courage and strength for the old man. 256
28. HAND GAME COMPETITION
Ans: In ordeMb^)post*yp his morale, the old man recalled to his mind the historic hand-gap! competition he had with Negro from Cienfuegos. He was known as the strongest man at t}ie docks. Santiago challenged him to a trial of physical strength and the hand-game. The competition was held at an inn, of Casablanca. Both the’lpen seated themselves round a table, facing each other. A line was drawn at the centre if tKe*table. The two contenders rested their elbows on the line, holding up their forearms and gripping each other’s hand tightly. Each one of them applied his whole strength to bring down the opponent’s arm down to the surface of the table. A large crowd of spectators kept sitting around them, watching them with great curiosity in the light of oil lamp. Due to constant straining, blood starting oozing from the finger tips of both the contender. The odds continued changing from time to time. But the contest seemed to end in a draw. The supporters of the Negro went on offering him drink and cigarettes. He once succeeded in upsetting the balance and bringing Santiago’s hand three inches lower to the surface of the table. But the Old Man soon succeeded in regaining the balancing position.