Old Man And The Sea After reading this novel, The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, I was confused about something the old man kept repeating. During the course of the book, the old man, Santiago, refers to having gone out to far to catch the fish. To me, this sounds as though he is making excuses for himself as to why he could not bring the fish in. On the other hand, he may have realized that he should not have gone out so far because it was not worth it for everything he puts himself and the fish through. I reread over these parts and came to a conclusion about this problem. We know that Santiago sets out on the eighty-fifth day earlier than normal to get a head start on what he believes to be the day he will catch something.
He does catch something and it just happens to be the biggest fish he has ever seen in his life. He does everything he can to hook the fish and once hooked; the fish carries him out to sea, moving further and further away from land. The man knows he is not prepared for what is to come but does not let this discourage him and keeps on trying. This tells me that Santiago is courageously devoted to his life of fishing After three days at sea, managing the marlin, and more importantly hunger, he brings the fish in and attaches it to the side of his boat. When the first of the sharks come, he does everything in order to defend himself, but as unprepared as he was, his actions are almost useless. This is when he first says to himself and the marlin beside him, I shouldn’t have gone out so far, fish. Neither for you nor me.
I’m sorry fish (110). The old man had considered the fish his friend and also a brother the entire time he had been trying to kill it. To me, this asserts a problem. The old man is a fisherman. His life is fishing.
There should be no reason to feel sorry for the fish or for himself. Even though the fish he caught is being ripped to shreds by the sharks feeding on it, he caught it and that is what fishing is all about. When he finally finds his way home, with nothing left but the carcass of the marlin left next to him, he asks himself what beat him. His answer is Nothing. I went out to far (120) By telling himself that the only thing he did wrong was go out to far, he is making excuses for himself.
He was unprepared for the hunger that would strike him and defenseless against the sharks that would attack his marlin. These were the things that beat him. If he had stopped and let the fish go because he was getting out to far from land, then it would have been the fish that had beat him. Anyway,you look at the situation; the old man was going to lose in the end. The quote above, I went out to far sounds like an admission of defeat but Nothing seems as though he is saying that nothing beat him.
Despite the fact that he is defeated by the sharks that took away his prize fish, he has also, in a way, won. He has won the respect of the townspeople that see the carcass and realize what the man had before it was taken from him piece by piece. He has also gained knowledge of being more prepared. As he tells the boy in the end, We must get a good killing lance and always have it on board. You can make the blade from a spring leaf from an old Ford (125). If the man had not gone out so far, then he would have never experienced what he did.
He would have come home empty handed and wondered for the rest of his life, if he would have been able to bring the marlin back home with him. And in a way, he did bring it home, by bringing the carcass. The old man’s reason for saying that he went out to far is to make himself feel better. He feels bad for destroying the fish and getting nothing out of it in return. What the old man does not realize is that he does receive something in return.
He has an experience that not many other people have had or will ever experience. He has gained knowledge of how to be more prepared for an event like this. And he has attained the respect of the townspeople, who had once thought he was sad and pitiful. Santiago is a brave and defiant old man who is sad that he did not manage to complete his journey with his trophy beside him. If one was to look into this more and try and come to a conclusion as to why the old man constantly repeats that he went out to far, I think they would find that it is the old man’s way of dealing with his loss. As much as he says it though, I do not think that if he had it to do over again, he would stop before he caught the fish.
Santiago is a true fisherman and he would do whatever it took to prove that. Book Reports.