How is Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea not only a story about a man fishing, but also a story about life?I need three quotes that show that.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Quote 1:

He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women , nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach.  They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy.

Old Man and the Sea is a novella about old age and youth.  Hemingway was near the end of his writing career, and he yearned for one more crowning literary achievement, just like the aging DiMaggio and Santiago.  Hemingway wants to retire at the height of his powers before passing on his gifts to his disciples, like Manolin.

Quote 2:

But a man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

The novella is a Christian allegory.  Santiago, like Christ, is made to suffer, and he does so with dignity and without regret.  Santiago proudly accepts his role as a man made to suffer, and he brings the fish's corpse to shore as a symbol of his cross to bear.

Quote 3:

You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?

The novella shows the interconnectedness of man and nature.  Santiago celebrates the birds of the air, the man of the land, and the fish of the sea.  All are brothers, except for the sharks.  Hemingway shows how man can be a humble and equitable to the animals and mother nature.

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The Old Man and the Sea

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