1 The background The Old Man and the Sea is American novelist Hemingway’s short novel. The novel mainly tells us the story that an over sixty years old fisherman ,Santiag
o ,when he went to sea alone for fishing, he discovered a big marlin fish which surpassed the fishing boat several fold, although he knew perfectly that it was difficult to win, but he did not give up. Unfortunately, the wound of the big marlin fish send out fishy smell, which brought in several crowds of sharks to snatch the food. But the old man still did not give up. He highlighted encircles tightly. Finally, he succeeded in returning to the fishing port with the fish belted. The novel indicates the heroism which the leading character embodies to us, as well as the cruel and absurd social nature. It explains that people can’t exist without indomitable spirit and courage. They should embody the survival value of themselves. It reveals a truth: A person is not going to be defeated as soon as he is born and a person could be die out but could not be defeated. 2 The language The language in The Old Man and the Sea is simple and natural on the surface, but actually its language is deliberate and artificial. Santiago is the heroic image that Hemingway molded. No matter whether he is luck or is out of luck, the old man always carries out hard struggling and he is never discouraged. He also embodies one kind of elegant bearing.
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The sea symbolizes the actual life, and it is eternal, mysterious. On the one hand, it is intermittently benevolent, which will bring thick gains to you sometimes. On the other hand, it is intermittently ruthless, which will billow billows and makes you a hairbreadth escape. The marlin fish
symbolizes the target which people are eager to reach for; however, people’s ideal is always too fine to reach for. The shark symbolizes the tragedy factor which people will never be able to get rid of. It often appears in your most enjoyable complacent moment. The old man just symbolizes the abstract spirit of human beings. The book’s crucifixion imagery emphasizes the cyclical connection between life and death, just as the same as Santiago’s battle with the marlin. His successfully bringing back the marlin brings him the awed respect of the fishermen who once mocked him, and secures him the companionship of Marlin ,and the fishing skills which the apprentices will carry on Santiago’s teachings long after the old man has died. 3 The spirit Throughout the novel, no matter how bad the circumstances become, the old man exhibits an unflagging determination to catch the marlin and bring it to the shore. The old man meets every challenge with the same unwavering determination: he is willing to die in order to bring back the marlin, and he is willing to die in order to struggle with the feeding sharks. It is the conscious decision to act, to fight, to never give up that
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enables Santiago to avoid being defeated. Although he returns to Havana without the trophy of his long battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway seems to suggest that victory is not a prerequisite for honor. Instead, glory only depends upon the fact that one has the pride to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if the old man had returned with the marlin intact, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been short-lived. The glory and honor Santiago accrues comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and determination to fight. Choosing the sea as the background embodies the significance of the work. The sea and the destiny of humans are vitally interrelated, taking the sea as the real society that represents deaf to all words and dangerous. The changeable sea, the shark’s ferocious cruelty stands for the world force of the real world. Santiago experienced 84 days bitterly fight, finally, he caught a big marlin fish which was longer than his fish canoe. However, he mopped the empty rack of marlin fish; the shark had deprived his war trophies. But the old man did not desperate; he still loved life, and dreamed a lion which symbolized the strength. We can say that his life belongs to himself, the sea; the boat also belongs to him. Maybe he going to sea tomorrow is a fruitless labor, he always enjoys it during the 84 day’s fight, and he must face up with all kinds of hardships. 4.The writing style
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The writing style of Hemingway is non-remark, non-explanation and non-analytical. It tells us that every action of us is not imaginative but authentic. Having added the thereby of art life ,concise language, short sentences, implicit expressing, not only enhances the express of survival circumstance, but also has a deep middle idea. The truth is seen in the objective. The sea in The Old Man and the Sea is ferocious, barbarous, insidious and fathomless, which is to say, symbolism of society that Hemingway lives. In other words, the people in that world are no more than old boat at sea, and they struggle powerlessly, and endure all sorts of sufferings, in order to avoid death. They can’t see any lighthouse , navigates, or any hope to be reused, that is to say, in the world of massacring each other, people is isolated, not only is merciless between person and person, but also is merciless between person and all living things. 5 Conclusion In this short novel the old man stayed at sea alone for 84 days, but to be nowhere, collected the net, or went on fishing in the more distant deep sea, and this was the major issue which he must to face up with. Obviously, the old man chose the latter one absolutely. He said “the fish’s choice is to live in the deep sea which is full of crafty plot and snare, fortunately, the fish escaped from it. But my choice was to find them in where nobody has been to”. If he did not go to sea, then, his life was
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meaningless. His survival was also insignificant. One person could be died out, but could not be defeated. The effort of the old man had embodied the spirit on action. By fighting against with the marlin fish and the shark, the old man showed the indomitable spirit. From the material aspect, the result of the old man’s fight for three days had been failed. But from the spiritual aspect, from the aspect of confidence, he gained the victory. Despite of his final failure, he had been in spiritual victory, which gave him the significance and value of existing. Santiago finds the marlin worthy of a fight. His admiration for these opponents bring love and respect into an equation with death, as their destruction becomes a point of honor and bravery that confirms Santiago’s heroic qualities. Santiago, though destroyed at the end of the novel, is never defeated. Instead, he emerges as a hero. Santiago’s struggle does not enable him to change man’s place in the world. Rather, it enables him to meet his most dignified destiny. People’s real victory is the spiritual victory. No matter how the achievements a person have on material, he can’t win our lofty respect, the only one can moved us is the spiritual victory. A person is not going to be defeated as soon as he is born. A person could be die out but could not be defeated.
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References The Old Man and the Sea Written by Hemingway
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