Essay/Term paper: Hemingway's "the old man and the sea": an analysis
Essay, term paper, research paper: Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea": An Analysis
Everyone has an arch enemy. Batman had the Joker, Superman had Lex
Luthor. But without their enemies, they would be unimportant, just like anyone
else. One could say that they needed their enemies, that their enemies were
almost friends. Similarly, The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, is a
love story about the relationship developed over the years between a man and his
lifelong friend and foe, the sea. Within the following paragraphs, it will be
proven that the man needed the sea, that the two respected each other, and were
The old man respected the sea, unlike some of the younger, richer
fishermen. They referred to the sea as a man. "...spoke of her as el mar which
is masculine." (p.30) This was considered improper to the older fishermen, as
it was spoken of like a place or a contestant. The old man always referred to
the sea as a female, like a mother. "He always thought of the sea as la mar
which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her." (p.29) He saw the
sea as a woman, a woman that gave or withheld favors. She was unpredictable
beacuse "The moon affects her as it does a woman." (p.30) The sea was like a
second home for the man, who fished every day. La mar provided the man with
food, a living, an enemy, and a friend.
When he was out on the sea fishing, he was at home. The sea, la mar,
was like his mother. The fish in the ocean were like his brothers and sisters.
When he heard the dolphins playing in the night he thought, "They are
good...they are our brothers like the flying fish." (p.48) He had almost reeled
the giant marlin in when he realized what he was doing. "You are killing me,
fish. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more
beautiful...thing than you, brother." (p.92) Even as he ate the fish that he
would catch, or as he killed scavengers trying to get the marlin, he was
apologizing or talking to his "family".
The old man saw the sea as a person, as a woman, and the fish were
people, also. Thinking that way, he kept an open dialogue with his surroundings.
Throughout the several days in which he tried to catch the marlin, he
constantly spoke to it. He had just eaten a fish to get his strength back when
he said, "How do you feel, fish? I feel good and my left hand is better and I
have food for a night and a day" (p.74) Seeing a bladder of a Portuguese man-
of-war floating near him, he said, "Agua mala, you whore" (p.35) The bladder
was keeping the fish away from the boat. As well as talking to the fish and the
sea, he spoke to his body parts. His left hand had cramped up and he tried to
convince it to stop. "...Cramp then if you want...It will do you no good."
(p.58) In addition to that, he spoke to a bird that happened upon him in the
middle of the sea. "Stay at my house if you like, bird. I am sorry that I
cannot...take you in with me...But I am with a friend." (p.55) And of course,
he spoke to the only thing that could understand the words, himself. After
several days with little sleep, he was puling the fish up, and told himself, "Be
calm and strong, old man" (p.91) At sea, he was at home, and he felt free to
speak to everything, although nothing answered his questions, or reacted to his
The Old Man and the Sea is a book about the love story between an old,
lonely man and his friend for life, the sea, along with the fish. This idea can
be summarized with one more quote from the story. "Fish, I love you and respect
you very much. But I will kill you before this day ends."(p.54)
Other sample model essays:
Lord of the Flies: Our Society Suppresses the Evil That Is Presented In All of Us
In this novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding shows how our society
suppresses the evil that is presente...
A Streetcar Named Desire: Condeming Those Who Treat Others With Harshness and
One of the main themes expressed by Tennessee Williams in his play, A Streetcar
Named Desire, is to conde...
Fahrenheit 451: Books - A Part of Our Past
One of the biggest issues raised in this book was the idea that people
are starting to forget more about books and what they mean. People have
Fahrenheit 451: The Meetings Between Montag and Clarisse
The novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is about a futuristic society
that has banned books. Firemen that start fires are used to ...
Why Do Convenient Stores Have Locks On Their Doors If They Are Always Open?
At 1:30 in the morning you are driving down Walton Road when you pass
the 7-11. You decide to stop in...
Fallen Souls in "The Inferno"
Thesis Statement: In each Circle and Canto there are different penalties to pay
but it is for sure that each forbidden soul in the Inferno will live forever in
The Scarlet Letter: The False Qualities of Life
Irish novelist Brian Moore observed, "There comes a point in many
people's lives when they can no longer play the role they have chose...
What Family Is To Me
Since birth, I have grown up with a different concept of family than
most people do. Instead of being born into my biological family, I was adopted
Fanon's Three Stages Related to the Indigenous People of Chiapas
The passage Shadows of Tender Fury by Subcommander Marcos of the
Zapatista Army explains that the people of Chiapas are cur...
A Tale of Two Cities: Reversal of Characters
When writing a book, most authors are writing about an issue they have.
However, other themes become apparent through the course of the piece, e...