OLD MAN AND THE SEA

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