The Old Man and the Sea

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  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • The theme in The Old Man and the Sea is that all good things take time. Hemingway said "He waited with the line between his thumb and his fingers, watching it and the other lines at the same time..."(42). Santiago waited 3 days to catch and kill that one marlin. If Santiago would have given up he might not have caught the marlin.
  • Santiago's bloody hands symbolize the work he put into what he wanted. Hemingway said "The speed of the line was cutting his hands so baldy but he had always known this would happen... not let the line slip into the palm nor cut the fingers"(82). Santiago held tightly on to the fishing line because he wanted to catch the fish. He realize's even if he tries, it takes time to succeed.
  • The Marlin represents proof that Santiago was still 'The Champion'. Hemingway writes "But he untied the harpoon rope from the bitt, passed it through the fish's gills and made it out his jaws... 'it was the only way to kill him' the old man said" (96). It took Santiago 3 days to catch and kill the marlin. By him catching the fish it proved that he was still 'The Champion'. Santiago was called the champion because he won an arm wrestling match that took one day and one night. Santiago proved that all good things take time by waiting 3 days to catch the marlin.
  • Arm wrestling represents Santiago's success. Hemingway wrote "The match started on a Sunday morning ending on a Monday morning... after that everyone had called him The Champion" (70). In order for Santiago to win the match it took him time. Santiago being named 'The Champion' proved that he did succeed over time.
  • Throughout the book Santiago changed how he was very impatient to be patient. Santiago in the beginning of the book was very inpatient. Hemingway wrote "For a long time now eating had bored him and he never carried a lunch. He had a bottle of water in the bow of the skiff and that was all he needed for the day."(25) Santiago was inpatient and got bored easily. In the middle of the book Santiago became more patient then before. Hemingway writes "He waited with the line between his thumb and his finger, watching it and the other lines at the same time for the fish"(41). Santiago chooses to be patient and wait for the fish to bite the line. In the end of the book Santiago became less patient again. Hemingway states "But by midnight he fought and this time he knew the fight was useless"(117). Santiago fought the fish pulling on the lines but ended up giving up on it. Santiago was both patient and inpatient throughout the book.
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