OLD MAN AND THE SEA

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

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