The Old Man and the Sea Essay

“The Old Man and the Sea: ” A Tale of Betrayed Brotherhood In Ernest Hemingway’s novelette “The Old Man and the Sea. ” an old fisherman named Santiago faces the challenge of catching the largest fish of his life.

an act he hopes will convey immortal illustriousness to his name. The achievement of this end. nevertheless. flexible joints on the act of killing a animal Santiago frequently deems his equal. as exemplified by his repeating mention to the fish as a brother.The old man’s yearning for illustriousness negates any moral considerations he may hold. though.

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until he realizes his ain mortality. extends that into a feeling of equality with the fish. and the fish’s organic structure is destroyed by sharks. Then he understands what he has done: stripped the baronial fish.

his equal. of its pride. From that point on. he regrets his actions of bewraying his brother.Therefore. throughout a bulk of “The Old Man and the Sea. ” Santiago’s desire to accomplish immortal illustriousness overshadows the immorality of his actions. but when the sharks destroy the physical incarnation of this accomplishment.

the fish. he realizes that the terminal does non warrant the agencies ; immortal illustriousness is non obtained. Santiago.

who is approaching the terminal of his life. has a preoccupation surrounding on compulsion with illustriousness. He continually speaks and thinks of Joe DiMaggio. the incarnation of illustriousness in the signifier of a baseball participant.

and his roots as a hapless fisherman’s boy strengthen the fond regard.He dreams of king of beastss. the male monarchs of the jungle. basking their sphere on a beach.

Greatness is clearly on Santiago’s head. In add-on. he longs for the type of illustriousness that transcends human life ; he dreams of accomplishing immortality through the recollection of his name in association with something great after his decease.

After combating the fish for many yearss. Santiago thinks. “I am non good for many more bends. Yes you are.

he told himself. You’re good for ever” ( Hemingway 70 ) . His interior address. peculiarly the last sentence. demonstrates his lofty.

idealistic mentality.He views his being as ageless ; therefore. the type of illustriousness for which he yearns inferably fits this position and is hence ageless as good. For Santiago. immortal illustriousness can merely be achieved through fishing: “You were born to be a fisherman and the fish was born to be a fish. San Pedro was a fisherman as was the male parent of the great DiMaggio” ( Hemingway 81 ) .

By extension. Santiago labels the remainder of the topics of the sentence as great due to the mention to DiMaggio. and because he specifically refers to his function in life ( a fisherman ) in this context. he believes it to be his agencies toward accomplishing this illustriousness.What better opportunity does he hold than to convey in the greatest fish of his life. entirely and in old age? Therefore. the fish he catches in the narrative is his opportunity at immortal illustriousness.

Early in the narrative. before Santiago has even seen the fish. he thinks. “If he will leap I can kill him. But he stays down for of all time. Then I will remain down with him for ever” ( 44 ) .

This idea besides illuminates the connexion he feels between the fish and his glorification: If he does non catch the fish and convey it place. hope for his immortal being dies because this illustriousness depends wholly on the fish. this fish.Throughout most of the novelette. Santiago views the fish as beneath him. as something he is entitled to repress. For illustration.

he takes ownership of the fish. the fish he therefore believes he is destined to catch. by mentioning to it as his before anything even nibbles on his line ( Hemingway 24 ) . Besides. during Santiago’s conflict with the fish. he thinks.

“But. thank God. they are non every bit intelligent as we who kill them ; although they are more baronial and more able” ( Hemingway 47 ) .In the first half of this transition.

he clearly places himself mentally above the fish ; nevertheless. the 2nd half introduces the regard Santiago holds for the fish. which brings into inquiry his asserted feelings of high quality. In add-on. he frequently refers to the fish as his brother. presenting a sense of affinity he feels with the animal ( Hemingway 44.

47. 57. 71.

73 ) . Yet the air of domination remains. despite these outward looks of equality. because the old man’s desire for illustriousness is so blindingly dominant.Santiago speaks aloud: “‘I’ll kill him though. ’ he said. ‘In all his illustriousness and his glorification.

’ Although it is unfair. he thought. But I will demo him what a adult male can make and what a adult male endures” ( Hemingway 49 ) . In this citation.

Santiago recognizes the illustriousness of the fish and even contemplates the moral deductions of his quest to kill it. but his decision that he needs to complete what he set out to make to turn out man’s laterality over the animals of the sea. specifically his laterality to fulfill his hungriness for illustriousness. overshadows his brief moral inquiring.Besides. Santiago’s references to the fish as a brother ab initio do non ever mean affinity and equality. Once. he makes the claim that his two custodies and the fish are brothers ; the fish is merely related to two little parts of his organic structure ( Hemingway 47 ) .

Albeit the custodies are of import parts to the fisherman. he still equates the fish to a part of his organic structure. non the whole ego.

which implies there is more to than adult male than to the fish. A small subsequently. he calls the stars his brothers and expresses gratitude for non holding to kill such great. distant existences ( Hemingway 58 ) .This minimizes both the fish’s illustriousness and supposed brotherhood because Santiago clearly longs to be one amongst the stars ( immortal illustriousness ) .

despite. or possibly because of. their true ungraspable nature.

in add-on to combating a mere mortal fish. For these grounds. throughout much of the novelette Santiago puts the fish’s illustriousness below the pursuit for his ain. despite selected words to the reverse. When Santiago comes to footings with his ain mortality.

nevertheless. he genuinely recognizes his equality with the besides mortal fish.After yearss of combating the fish. his ineluctable mortality rises to his head for the first clip: “‘Fish. ’ the old adult male said. ‘Fish.

you are traveling to hold to decease anyhow. Make you hold to kill me too’” ( Hemingway 70 ) ? Here. Santiago realizes that more than the ability to obtain greatness prevarications in the custodies of this fish ; his physical being besides hinges on the fish’s actions. This thought humbles the old adult male. and proceedingss subsequently he thinks. “You are killing me. fish. the old adult male idea.

But you have a right to. Never have I seen a great. or more beautiful. or a calmer or more baronial thing than you. brother.

Come on and kill me. I do non care who kills who” ( Hemingway 71 ) . For the first clip the word “brother” carries the weight it implies because Santiago sees both himself and the fish as mortal existences in a battle for life. No longer does he presume superior rank over the fish ; alternatively.

he recognizes the aristocracy of both existences as equal in his look of unconcern for which dies. Shortly after this realisation. Santiago succeeds in set downing the fish ; nevertheless. merely an hr subsequently.

sharks begin to assail the dead fish tied to the side of his boat. rending flesh from bone. depriving it of its physical person illustriousness.At this point. the inquiry of the morality of killing the fish one time once more surfaces: “You did non kill the fish merely to maintain alive and to sell for nutrient. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman.

You loved him when he was alive. and you loved him after. If you love him. it is non a wickedness to kill him. Or is it more” ( Hemingway 81 ) ? Because Santiago had antecedently established a affinity with the fish.

he inquiries his pride-motivated actions. whether or non his obtaining of immortal illustriousness justifies killing a baronial brother.It shortly becomes clear that these agencies are non justified. Santiago begins to apologise to the fish legion times. foremost for the sharks that mangle its organic structure.

so for killing it in the first topographic point ( Hemingway 85 ) . Finally. Santiago says. “‘I shouldn’t have gone out so far. fish. ’ he said. ‘Neither for you nor for me. I’m sorry.

fish’” ( Hemingway 85 ) . In this citation. Santiago plaints his quest for illustriousness ( “I shouldn’t have gone out so far…” ) and asserts that it destroyed both him and the fish.Therefore.

despite the completion of his end to catch a great fish. Santiago fails in his pursuit for immortal illustriousness because he realizes that killing a animal equal in illustriousness and aristocracy to himself. a animal he calls his brother. is ignoble.

He even acknowledges this failure after he returns to shore. when he recognizes that nil outside himself really beat him in his pursuit: “And what round you. he thought. ‘Nothing. ’ he said aloud.

‘I went out excessively far’” ( Hemingway 93 ) . Merely his desire for immortal illustriousness defeated him and barred him from accomplishing it. that is.

if it was of all time possible for him to accomplish it at all.Therefore. in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea. ” Santiago fails in his pursuit to get immortal illustriousness. He begins by believing of the fish as his to take. the agencies by which he can obtain greatness. but after recognizing his ain mortality he understands the fish’s equality to himself and declinations taking its life.

which led to the denudation of its flesh. its physical illustriousness. Therefore. the aristocracy of both the old adult male and the fish are ruined. and he surely fails to seal his name as an ageless presence of illustriousness. Possibly his pursuit was doomed from the beginning ; immortal illustriousness was ne’er possible for the old adult male.