The old man fight against Marlin to the very end without being despaired. Comment

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kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the beautiful parts of the book is the conflict it raises between the old man being satisfied with bringing in his fish, though it is almost all bones by the time he does, and the utter uselessness of the entire exercise.  He has caught this beautiful fish, but in the end the effort of bringing it in exhausts him and basically kills him.  So was it worth it?  Some might argue that to him it was.

Some might argue that it wasn't.  The fact that he himself is filled with sadness and a realization of the futility of it but continues on with the effort is a powerful narrative on humans given our sentimental attachment to things and our unwillingness to give up on things that are important to us, regardless of their utility.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book The Old Man and the Sea Santiago has not been able to catch a fish for a long time.  He has lost faith in himself.  He sees how much the boy looks up to him.  He wants to leave the earth knowing that he was still a great fisherman.

When Santiago catches the Marlin, it is an answer to his prayer to God.  He knows that he had prayed for it and has now had his prayer answered.  Again he asks God's help to get the fish home.  He knows that more important than having the meat of the fish that he ahs to prove to himself that he can bring the fish home.

Santiago does get frustrated and exhausted, but his drive to accomplish his goal is more important than anything else.  He has to prove to himself that he can catch the fish and make it home with it.  He accomplishes this and is satisfied with himself.


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The Old Man and the Sea

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