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Carter Cabe

on 7 May 2013

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The Sea and the fisherman At the beginning of this section we find the old man lost in thought about how modern fishermen think of the sea as more masculine, El Mar, in opposition to his idea of La Mar or more feminine. Later he sees a man-of-war catch a fish and he figures out where he will have the best chance of catching fish. Again, he doesn't catch a fish, but he says he is waiting for his big fish. Soon afterwords, we see the old man cast his lines at 40 fathoms, 75 fathoms, 100 fathoms, and 125 fathoms. He doesn't get any bites yet, but he starts to think more about the differences between him and the younger fishermen. As morning breaks, the old man sees the man-of-war bird again. This time the old man catches an Albacore. The old man also thinks about the rich fishers who have radios and about how he thinks he will have luck on his 85th day fishing. Shortly after thinking about going to sleep, the old man gets a bite. The fish he catches turns out to be his "big fish". This fish is so big that it begins to carry the poor old man out to sea. As the old man and the fish get further out to sea, the old man realizes that he is stuck with the fish as long as the fish keeps fighting. The old man also begins to feel sorry for the fish he hooked. He remembers a similar time when he hooked the wife of a fish and the male fish jumped out to search for his wife. Finally, the old man realizes that he is helpless so far away from land. As the sun sets, the old man sees the "Agua Mala" or Portuguese Man of War jelly fish. Also he sees sea turtles. The sight of sea turtles evokes pity from the old man. Analysis:
Compare the different attitudes of the two generations of fishermen towards the sea:
The old man's attitude - La Mar The young generation's attitude - El Mar
More feminine: More masculine:
"She" gives and hold back favors "He" is a contestant or and enemy to be
"She" only does things that are bad if fought.
she could not help them "He" does bad things out of spite
"She" is affected by the moon as a
woman is. List the different depths to which the old man casts his bait and explain why he does this:
The old man casts his bait a 40, 75, 100, and 125 fathoms. He does this because there are many fish at many different depths. If he casts bait at different levels, he has a better chance of catching more fish. What simile does the author use to describe the thickness of the old man's fishing line?
He says it is "as thick around as a big pencil." What does the old man describe as agua mala and why does he do this?
The Portuguese Man of War. It hurts him badly if he touches it. "He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as el mar which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favors, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought,"(Hemingway). Why does the old man sympathize with the turtles? Most people are heartless about the turtles and they eat them. What type of fish does the old man catch first ?
He catches an Albacore. 1: "Before it was really light he had his baits out and was drifting with the current. One bait was down forty fathoms. The second was at seventy-five and the third and fourth were down in the blue water at one hundred and one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. Each bait hung head down with the shank of the hook inside the bait fish, tied and sewed solid and all the projecting part of the hook, the curve and the point, was covered with fresh sardines,"(Hemingway). What metaphor does the old man use to describe the shape of the fish he has caught?
The old man calls the fish "bullet shaped." 2: "Each line, as thick around as a big pencil..."(Hemingway). "He looked down into the water and watched the lines that went straight down into the dark of the water. He kept them straighter than anyone did..."(Hemingway). 4: "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 over the land. But the bird was almost out of sight now and nothing showed on the surface of the water but some ,patches of yellow, sun-bleached Sargasso weed and the purple, formalized, iridescent gelatinous bladder of a Portuguese man-of-war floating dose beside the boat. It turned on its side and then righted itself. It floated cheerfully as a bubble with its long deadly purple filaments trailing a yard behind it in the water 'Agua mala,' the man said. 'You whore.' From where he swung lightly against his oars he looked down into the water and Saw the tiny fish that [35] were coloured like the trailing filaments and swam between them and under the small shade the bubble made as it drifted. They were immune to its poison. But men were not and when same of the filaments would catch on a line and rest there slimy and purple while the old man was working a fish, he would have welts and sores on his arms and hands of the sort that poison ivy or poison oak can give. But these poisonings from the agua mala came quickly and struck like a whiplash,"(Hemingway). "The shivering increased as he pulled in and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the boat. He lay in the stern in the sun, compact and bullet shaped, his big, unintelligent eyes staring as he thumped his life out against the planking of the boat with the quick shivering strokes of his neat, fast-moving tail. The old man hit him on the head for kindness and kicked him, his body still shuddering, under the shade of the stern.
'Albacore,' he said aloud. 'He’ll make a beautiful bait. He’ll weigh ten pounds',"(Heminegway). "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. The turtles saw them approached them from the front, then shut their eyes so they were completely carapaced and ate them filaments and all. The old man loved to see the turtles eat them and he loved to walk on them on the beach after a storm and hear them pop when he stepped on them with the horny soles of his feet. He loved green turtles and hawk-bills with their elegance and speed and their great value and he had a friendly contempt for the huge, stupid loggerheads, yellow in their armour-plating, strange in their love-making, and happily eating the Portuguese men-of-war with their eyes shut. He had no mysticism about turtles although he had gone in turtle boats for many years. He was sorry for them all, even the great trunk backs that were as long as the skiff and weighed a ton. Most people are heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after he 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. He ate the white eggs to give himself strength. He ate them all through May to be strong in September and October for the truly big fish," How does the old man manage his lines in a way that makes him different to the other fisherman:
He keeps them straighter than anyone else so they don't drift.
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