TheOcean in “TheOld Man and the Sea”
Inthe novel, the sea takes greater significance of shaping everyelement of the story. Hemingway uses the sea as the basis of histopic and name of the novel. By naming the book “TheOld Man and the Sea”the author gives the reader the notion that the sea is what bringsthe novel into being. Secondly, the ocean becomes the basis of theplot and give characters the place to carry out their plot activitiesthat define their role in the story. In addition, the sea gives thecharacter the basis of their occupation as fishermen. Through theinvolvement of the sea from the title to through the plot and to theend, the author presents the importance of the ocean to his story,the characters and the reader.
Roleof the Ocean
Theocean takes the role of validating the significance of the strugglethat character in the plot take in their quest to earn a living. Thestruggle that the old man and the fishermen face in the story issignified in the manner through which the sea operates. The sea isfilled with waves that face the people who dare the high waters. Inparticular, the struggle in the sea is centered in the way the oldman faces off with Marlin, a giant fish in the gulf stream. Throughthe sea, the character of resilience is developed as the oldfisherman decides to move even further into the ocean with a believethat his lack of luck will soon end. This is what drove him toencounter his greatest catch of the large fish, marlin.
Theocean is used to develop the themes that the author presents throughthe novel. Since the ocean signifies struggle, the author also usesit to show the reward of every successful struggle. The novel iscentered on the struggle between Santiago and Marlin. Represents Thisstruggle comes after Santiago goes 84 days without a fortune ofcatching a fish (Hemingway 2). This shows the significance of the seain developing the theme of struggle and reward. Despite the dangersthat exist in the sea, the waters remain calm in the sea animals andviolent to those who dare to fish, just like the going was tough forSantiago.
Theocean also becomes the home to the two main protagonists in thestory Santiago and Marlin. For marlin, the sea is where he was bornto live, he is a sea animal. Therefore, without the sea, theexistence of the character of marlin would not have been realized bythe author. To Santiago, the ocean becomes his second home where heseeks for livelihood. As the fishing place, the sea becomes moremeaningful to Sangiago both as a fisherman and as a character in thestory. This makes the sea a temporary home where he spends even 84days fishing before meeting the giant marlin.
Theocean takes the focus of the story due to its meaning in the passingof the message that a reader can get from the story. This is becausethe ocean becomes the basis through which the reader will understandthe meaning of the circumstances that Santiago went through. As anold seasoned fisherman, he is well versed with the sea and he knowsall the dynamics of the sea (Hemingway 3). Therefore, the author useshis experiences to portray how the sea can be unfair or unrewardingto people, even those with fishing skills. The message the authortries to pass through is that the world can be good all our life butcan be bad sometimes. Therefore, people need to face the world with agreater bravery, just like in the sea.
Bypresenting the sea as the world of fishermen like Santiago andManolin, the author gives the water mass a central point of thestory. The story revolves around the intrigues of the characters inthe ocean, making the plot more meaningful when the reader places thesea at the center-stage. Therefore, with the thinking of the ocean asthe main environment of Santiago, the reader is able to relate to thestruggles the old man faces. In particular, the experience of stayingin the sea for eighty four days without a catch is discouraging, butthe old man soldiers on in the ocean. Therefore, by presenting theocean as the environment of the story, the author hints on theimportance of the sea taking the central role of the story.
Despitethe story focusing on the struggle between an old fisherman and agiant fish, marlin, the story presents the ocean as the main figureand central point. This is evident from the conception of the storyfrom the name “The Old Man and theSea” that illustrates howimportant the ocean is. In addition, the author uses the ocean as themain environment of the story and as a sign of the struggles that thepeople face in the world, as illustrated in the struggle of Santiagowith larger fish, marlin. This makes the ocean a more meaningful, yeta non-human element of the story.
Hemingway,Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea.New York: Charles Scribner`s Sons, 1952. Print