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Old Man and the Sea: themes, motifs, and cartoons

Detailed analysis of The Old Man and the Sea, focusing on major events, character development, themes, conflicts, etc.
by

Steve Guinan

on 28 January 2013

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Transcript of Old Man and the Sea: themes, motifs, and cartoons

The Old Man and the Sea: Analysis Character Development Major Events (plot points) Themes Conflicts Literary Devices Struggle Against Defeat We can see even from the beggining of the book Santiago is struggling to accept defeat, even after 84 days of no fish he is still determined to catch one
Santiago Is out at sea for 3 full days holding on to a fish in hope to catch it which he eventually does.
He doesn't accept defeat even when the sharks attack, instead he continues to attack them with what ever hes got. Man against Nature One of the themes presented in this novel is survival of the fittest.
The constant battle between Santiago and the marlin, and how he says that one of us will die, even though he is determined it is the marlin.
Santiago is a man of nature in the sense that he uses it to his advantage. For example he uses the bird in order to spot were the fish are.
Death as theme: One of hemingways biggest themes is that we cannot prevent death, but we can fight it as hard as we can.
honor and respect towards nature. Santiago loves the marlin because he finds it a honorable opponent, that way he has a appriciation for nature itself. Determination and Pride Can Lead to Failure But also Greatness Every hero has a weakness, and Santiagos is pride and determination. His determination and pride are what keep him going, even when his hands are failing him, he finds the strength with in himself to not give up.
The Problem with this is that he goes so deep into the sea fights so hard for the big fish, but in the end the sharks "kill him" by eating the fish. Santiago is devistaed because as he failed them both, he killed the fish without a proper reason, and pushed himself to the limit. He admits it himself when he says he went out to far.
He finally accepts defeat in the end, but is still a hero.
We can clearly see his pride by he fact that he had been at eighty-four-days of bad luck with not a single fish. And through this pride he is able to achieve his goal.
If Santiago did not have pride within him self he would not have been able to endure the lengthy fight with the fish.
The determine Santiago has to catch this fish is enormus, he puts his own life in danger and does everything he possibly can to catch it, and even though he comes back home without the meat, he comes back home with the glory and the achievement he accomplished. Santiago as Christ figure Santiagos hands are cut from the rope.
While sharks are attacking Santiago makes a noise such of a man with nails being struck through his hands.
The way he struggles to his shack with the mast on his back reminds of of Christ's march to his crucifixion.
Santiago sacrifices himself to help others, he's not going out there just to make money, hes going out there to help feed people, and this is why he doesnt believe that what he is doing is a sin. Symbolism of the Lions The lions on the beach symbolize Santiagos years when he was young and strong.
He is able to see lions which are normaly deadly animals, peacefully playing on a beach.
"This symbolizes a peace between opposing forces."
Lions are noble creatures, Santiago only dreams of them asleep. To Santiago, the lions symbolize more noble days, before he was the older crippling man.
The lions are also a stress reliever. During his struggle with the fish, he retreated to the sanctity of these moments, and he's able to quell his fatigue. The Relationship Between the and Santiago Santiago Santiago is a man who has had bad luck for 84 days now. He is a very skilled fisherman just like his father was. He is a strong symbol of pride and determination. He is not the archtypical young, virile, hungry, Odyssean hero at the ready. He is at the sunset of his life. A washed up has-been. A former and forgotten great trying to make a final comeback against... The Old man succesfully snares the fish. In the act of engagement with the antagonist, there is new hope and meaning. Truth is in the struggle.
Yet. The sharks destroy what he had won. Still Santiago fights for pride, for acknowledgement of his great struggle.
Question: does he return as the victor or as the defeated? The Struggle for food The Stuggle for Sleep The stuggle against pain The fight against the sharks The loss of pride according to the video,
what adjectives describe Santiago
at the beginning of the novel? Isolation Joe Dimaggio and the Yankees DiMaggio's hitting streak in 1941 parallel's Santiago's eighty-four day streak without catching a fish. "They lost today," the boy told him.
"That means nothing. The great DiMaggio is himself again."
"They have other men on the team."
"Naturally. But he makes the difference." The boy's quote symbolizes his desire to be a significant part of the man's life, but Santiago's retort implies that he himself is all he needs. Santiago is always isolated. While fishing there are countless times where he either speaks to himslef or to other objects. By hearing voices, even if the voices are his own, he finds comfort and acceptanc e in them.
While Santiago is fishing he references the boy countless times. "I wish the boy was here." Thought the old man.
"No one should be alone in their old age." page 48
When speaking to eachother, both the boy and Saintiago refer to eachother as "Old Man" and "Boy". By referencing eachother by a more broad and general name, a sense of distance and isolation is created. The Quest Narrative Structure
1. The Beginning: Santiago goes to the sea.
2. The Quest: Santiogo hooks the fish
3. Motive: Santiogo hasn't caught fish n 84 days, and he wants to end streak
4. Climax: Santiogo catches big fish, but sharks eat it and there is nothing left
5. Change: Has Santiogo changed?
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