The Old Man and the Sea The Old Man and the Sea The book The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, is about an old man, Santiago, and his genuine fondness of the sea. Every day he travels out to sea to go fishing which is his occupation. For the past eighty-four days the old man has not caught a single fish. On the eighty-fifth day he sails out to sea as usual, and this is the day that changes Santiagos life forever. He hooks an unusually immense marlin, and they have an agonizing battle for several days. Hemingway often compares Santiago with the younger fisherman and describes various particular parts about the beautiful sea.
This allows the reader to learn that Santiago especially loves the sea and is unlike the other fisherman. While Santiago is going out to sea on the first morning, Hemingway includes numerous details about the setting. Some of the details are to inform the reader that the old man really enjoys and values the ocean. One way which Hemingway shows this is that Santiago refers to the sea as “la mar,” a kind and beautiful yet sometimes cruel feminine creature. Younger fishermen refer to the sea as “el mar,” which is masculine. Changing this to be masculine means that they do not feel that the sea has any beauty or significance other than for money. Another way that the author tells that the old man appreciates the ocean is in one of his descriptions in the book.
“Most people are heartless about turtles because a turtles heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too and my feet and hands are like theirs.” Since Santiago has spent so many years of his life at sea he sees the beauty of the sea and the beauty of its creatures. This is also noted in another quotation from the book, “The iridescent bubbles were beautiful. But they were the falsest thing in the sea and the old man loved to see the big sea turtles eating them.” Santiago finds pleasure about everything in the sea, even after going a disappointing eighty-four days without a fish. All of these are examples of how much the old man appreciates the sea.
Other details Hemingway uses are to show Santiagos loneliness. He creates an image that the ocean is practically the old mans home. While out at sea, Santiago often wishes that he would have brought the young boy, Manolin, along. Manolin is the only person who loves and adores Santiago, and he looks up to him as a father figure. Although, it might have been best if Manolin went along to assist Santiago on these arduous few days of battling the marlin. Therefore, Santiago is all alone, but he finds that the sea makes him content and at home. The old man has fished for all of his life, which shows that he has appreciation for the sea.
The next statement shows his loneliness yet passion for the sea, “He watched his lines to see them go straight down out of sight into the water and he was happy to see so much plankton because it meant fish. The strange light the sun made in the water, now that the sun was higher, meant good weather and so did the shape of the clouds.” Since Santiago is alone, he finds comfort in all the creatures of the sea. Hemingways descriptions allow the reader to feel and imagine everything Santiago goes through. The author gives the reader a feeling that danger is nearby when he writes, “The sea was very dark and the light made prisms in the water.” By foreshadowing, the reader realizes that a dangerous event is soon to occur. There are also various additional quotations in the book telling of Santiagos predicaments. This includes one about the sun which hurt his eyes very much in the mornings.
All of these descriptions allow the reader to feel precisely what the old man felt. In turn, the reader begins to pity him, and it enhances the book considerably. Hemingways descriptions add significant details to the book, The Old Man and the Sea. They show that Santiago treasures the sea, his solitude, and add to the readers appreciation for the book. In addition, they add feeling, make the book more realistic, and improve the overall quality of this tragic yet triumphant story.