WhatRole Does The Ocean Play In The Old Man And The Sea?
Theocean symbolizes life and the role that people play in life. Each andevery single individual must find their own niche in life. The authorof the novel uses they ocean to show that people view life indifferent perspectives some people take part in life while othersobserve it as it passes just like in an ocean where different type ofboats fail to test their boundaries. The author uses boats tosymbolize people in life who just let life happen to them (Hemingway17). Just as the ocean creates storms people also experiencedifferent storms in their life. For instance, as Santiago sailsthrough the ocean with an aim of catching the big fish he encounterssharks, which represent various challenges that people encounter inlife, which destroy his marlin. In the end, he comes out astransformed person from his seeming defeat. This is a clearindication that individuals who live and enjoy life to the fullestare least affected by storms or downs of life since they have theknowledge and strength to handle and face them while individuals whoare observers of life face have a high likelihood of facingdestruction since they lack the power and ability to handle the downsor ups of life that they encounter (Hemingway 28). Santiago procureshis self-worth and livelihood from the ocean. Most of his youngercolleagues consider the ocean as masculine. He feel that when oneface the ocean as a male he or she has a high likelihood of invitingsure defeat but when one face it as a woman then he or she has a highpossibility of a small chance of success. Indeed, the marlin thatSantiago catches symbolize the ocean as the ocean is a true symbol ofthe nature, which is an efficient force of sheer strength. Santiagoguess or rather speculate the power of the marlin prior to its beingcaught through his fishing line. Santiago’s regard of the nature ismirrored by his appreciation of the marlin.
Theocean further portrays Santiago as a hero. In order for Santiago tobe a hero his tribulation must be monumental since the heart ofheroism comes after one triumph over crushing adversity. A hero facediversity with an enormous grace and dignity since it is easy for anyperson to be destroyed but not defeated. According to Hemingway (36)life requires an individual to demonstrate his worthiness in thesociety. An individual must demonstrate his worthiness by indulgingin activities that demonstrate a high level of dignity. Indeed, aworthy life incorporates self-sufficiency and inner peace as well asthe demonstration of a person’s noble actions.
Peoplein any community or society must play a key role in creating unityand oneness amongst their neighbors. The author of this novel showhow various characters like Santiago related with their environmentlike the ocean. The author repeatedly shows various contradictoryelements as aspects of unified whole for instance, the ocean isdepicted as masculine and feminine as well as both kind and cruel.Unity helps individuals come together in time of crisis for example,in the novel unity help Santiago in the midst of his enormoustragedy. The underlying unity between Santiago and the ocean ornature is hardly affected by the transitory forms that arrive anddepart at the same time (Hemingway 53). His focus on this unity helphim feel that he is part and parcel of the ocean or nature ratherthan viewing himself as an external antagonist who compete with thenature. Santiago strongly believes that he cannot be defeated bymisfortunes that befall him as he sail through the ocean. Inaddition, the author’s gendered view of the ocean is a clearindication of the unity that exists between the masculine and thefeminine. One might be forced to think that the author is inclined toview the world as full of competitive masculinity since thedescriptions of those who view the ocean as a man are cast in anegative light
Individualsshould take it their responsibility to struggle to succeed in life.There are two type of success that includes inner and materialsuccess. Inner success is represented by Santiago’s ability toovercome various physical problems like wounds, broken knife, thirst,and broken harpoon as he sails through the ocean hence, he can beregarded as successful despite his losing his material fish. This, inturn, portrays him as undefeatable and as a successful person. On theother hand, the author show that Santiago lack material success sincehe lost all the material value of the fish that he had planned tosell had the fish not eaten them (Hemingway 87).
Theocean further plays the role of showing the effect that fate can haveon people’s life. People cannot predict what they might encounteras the sail through the ocean just like they cannot influence orforesee their fate.
Hemingway,Ernest. TheOld Man and the Sea. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2002. Print.