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Essay/Term paper: Old man and the sea

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Ernest Hemingway

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Old Man and The Sea

"The great DiMaggio is himself again!"(21), in Ernest Hemingway's novel,
The Old Man and the Sea, which takes place near Havana, Cuba in the Caribbean
Sea, a very old, unlucky, fisherman sets out for the big catch. The great
DiMaggio is seamed throughout the novel to symbolize the old man and his
struggle to catch the big fish, yet also he poses as a role model for Santiago
(the old man).
The old man is using the great DiMaggio for a role model. At a
certain point in the struggle to catch this great fish, the old man begins to
cramp up in his left hand, do to the fish pulling so strenuously on the line.
Where as the great DiMaggio (during this time) is struggling with a bone spurn
his ankle, yet still continues to play baseball, and plays well. The old man
looks at DiMaggio as a role model in the sense that if DiMaggio can play with a
bone spur in his ankle and tough things out, then he will work around his cramp
and continue to fight the fish, as would the great DiMaggio. This is what the
old man thought, "Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as
long as I will stay with this one? I am sure he would and more since he young
and strong. Also his father was a fisherman. But would the bone spur hurt him
too much?"(68).
"But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who
does all things perfectly, even with a bone spur in his heel"(68), this
particular quote from the old man shows that the image of Joe DiMaggio works in
fulfilling its role in the old man's challenge of catching the fish. When
thinking of the great DiMaggio, the old man remembers to give himself more
confidence, and in doing so thinks back to his younger years when he was
referred to as the champion because of an arm wrestling match. This gave the
old man more strength and will to push on and fight the fish until he wins.
Also this image of DiMaggio reminds him he must be very strategical, and do
everything right, despite any cramps in his hand.
There is hard evidence that shows that DiMaggio symbolizes the old man.
Previously Joe DiMaggio had been struggling in his profession of baseball, due
to a bone spur in his heel. The whole team struggled because DiMaggio was the
main hope to the Yankee's team. Now in the case of the old man, who had
previously struggled to catch a fish because of his newly developed unluckiness,
struggles in his life because he has not caught a fish and in turn, has no money
to buy the necessities for life. Well as soon as DiMaggio picked up his game
and started to play at a whole new level, the old man hooked into a great big
marlin, and started a fight that would change his life. Not to mention the fact
that DiMaggio played outstanding even though he suffered from a bone spur in his
heel. As did the old man out struggle and out think the fish even though he
suffered from a temporary cramp in his left hand. All of this shows how
DiMaggio "is" the old man "The great DiMaggio is himself again"(21).
In conclusion to Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea, the great
DiMaggio is most definitely a symbol of the old man himself, and his struggle to
catch a fish. Also DiMaggio poses as a role model for the old man. Within this
paper there were great facts from the novel to prove that my thesis is indeed
strong, and something to think about. But one could ask himself, "Is it
possible to take a model figure, such as the great DiMaggio, and use him in such
a way to give yourself courage, confidence, and strength to succeed in your
goals?" The old man would tell you so, and so would I!


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