Old Man and the Sea

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  • Old Man and the Sea
  • Theme
  • The Skiff
  • By Shea Durgin
  • Sharks
  • The theme of Old Man and the Sea is work hard to achieve your goals. In the book, Santiago was trying to catch a marlin that he had hooked and when he finally caught him "He started to pull the fish in" (Hemingway, 26) which gave him that satisfaction of finally achieving your goal.
  • Tuna
  • The skiff symbolized a barrier that made it harder for Santiago to achieve his goal. When the Marlin jumped out of the water he realized that “[h]e is two feet longer than the skiff,” (Hemingway, 17) which meant that he would have to tie the marlin to the side of the boat. having to keep the marlin right above the water made it easy for sharks to track it down and eat it.
  • Characterization of Marlin
  • In Old Man and the Sea, the Marlin went from a strong warrior to a weak and exhausted fish. In the beginning when Santiago hooked the Marlin he put up a fight. After Santiago hooked it "[t]he fish moved steadily and they travelled slowly on the calm water" (Hemingway, 12) which means that the Marlin was pulling the Skiff trying to get the hook off. In the middle of the book the Marlin was starting to get weaker. Santiago realized that the Marlin “has slowed much” which meant that the Marlin was losing strength. To conserve energy and outlast Santiago he had to slow down to rest his body a bit. At the end of the book the fish started rising because he was too weak. After 3 days of fighting the "fish came over onto his side and swam gently on his side" (Hemingway, 26) and then Santiago killed him. The Marlin was very tired so he came up to his demise. Therefore the Marlin was strong in the beginning and got tired and weak at the end.
  • After Santiago captured the Marlin he was attacked by many sharks that tried to stop him from bringing the Marlin home, they were an unbreakable wall in front of Santiago's goal. After many different attacks "There was nothing more for them to eat" which means Santiago failed at his goal. The sharks were an obstacle that overcame Santiago's abilities.
  • The tuna represented hope for Santiago. Santiago "had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish" (Hemingway, 1) so when he caught the tuna his streak of catching no fish ended and there is now hope for more fish.
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