The Old Man and the Sea
Quotes and Analysis
1. “Have faith in the Yankees my son. Think of the great Joe DiMaggio.” (Santiago, page 17)
Santiago says this to Manolin during their conversation in his shack. They speak of baseball before Manolin goes to fetch the sardines for bait for the next day, and Santiago’s admiration for DiMaggio is apparent. DiMaggio becomes a symbol both of manhood and of overcoming strife for Santiago the next day while he is battling the great marlin. He cuts his hand and thinks about how Joe DiMaggio keeps playing despite the handicap of a bone spur; this gives him the strength to catch the fish.
2. “There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you.” ( Manolin, page 23)
Manolin says this to Santiago before he goes to bed, comparing him to Joe DiMaggio in his unique skill. The old man has said that he knows fishermen who are better than himself, but Manolin points out that Santiago stands alone among fishermen. This is certainly not because of luck – it has been a long time since he has caught any fish – but because of the relationship he has with the sea; one of respect and unity.
3. “They are good… They play and make jokes and love one another. They are our brothers like the flying fish.” ( Santiago, page 48)
Santiago says this of the porpoises who come to the side of his boat in the night. He has been feeling lonely and thinking to himself that nobody should be alone in their old age; he lost his wife long ago and now wishes he had Manolin with him on the boat. But the porpoises come as a couple, as a representation of love and to give Santiago strength. He sees them as brothers, like he sees every creature of the sea, including the fish he has hooked.
4. “Fish… I’ll stay with you until I am dead.” (Santiago, page 52)
Santiago says this to the marlin he has hooked after it makes a lurch forward in the middle of the night. He has a lot of line left, so he is at an advantage against the fish. But he knows it will drain him of his strength to trail the fish until it loses energy and eventually dies, so Santiago says this to express his commitment to that task. Either he will die or the fish will die, or both.
5. “Fish… I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” (Santiago, page 54)
Santiago says this to the fish before the bird approaches his boat for a chat. He talks to the fish as if it is his equal in battle, and he has great respect for it as a noble creature. He speaks of his commitment to fulfilling his job as a fisherman, because it is more than a job – it is his entire life. All that Santiago is as a man is wrapped up in his task of killing the marlin and bringing it home. Loving and respecting it is not mutually exclusive with killing it.
6.“He didn’t beat you. Not the fish.” (Manolin, page 124)
Manolin says this to Santiago after Santiago has returned home, having lost the fish and slept through the night. In the morning, Santiago tells Manolin that “They truly beat me.” But he is talking about the sharks who ate the fish after he caught it. It wasn’t the fish who beat him – the fish and he were brothers in his eyes, and he feels like he has betrayed the fish by letting it be eaten by the scavenging sharks.
7.“I didn’t know sharks had such handsome, beautifully formed tails.” (The female tourist, page 127)
At the end of the story, a female tourist sees the skeleton of the marlin lashed to the side of the skiff on the beach. She asks a Spanish-speaking waiter what happened, and he answers, “Eshark,” meaning that a shark had destroyed the fish. But she cannot understand so she thinks he means that the skeleton is that of a shark that itself had been eaten. This confusion demonstrates the distance between the average person and their opinion of the creatures of the sea and Santiago’s relationship with it.
8. “I am a strange old man.” (Santiago, page 14)
Santiago says this to Manolin after they finish up a day of fishing on separate boats. It is meant as an explanation for how his eyes remain so good after going turtle-ing for so many years (apparently, turtle-ing damages the eyes). But it also identifies Santiago as unique, foreshadowing the uncanny strength of will and body he will demonstrate in the days that follow as he wrestles the marlin. He is also “strange” in that, unlike most other fishermen, he feels like the creatures of the sea are his brothers.
9. “Anyone can be a fisherman in May.” (Santiago, page 18)
Santiago says this to Manolin after Manolin reminds him to keep warm, since it is September. It is more difficult to be a fisherman when it is cold outside, but Santiago is up for the challenge. This quotation demonstrates the unique quality that makes a man a fisherman; in the days that follow, Santiago will struggle with his decision to make his living catching and killing fish, but there is nothing else he can do. Even though he is not successful in bringing home the meat of the marlin, he succeeds in his determination.
10. “If sharks come, God pity him and me.” ( Santiago, page 68)
Santiago says this aloud to himself while he trails the marlin. He is determined to be “worthy of the great DiMaggio,” who is able to play baseball even with a bone spur. This quotation foreshadows the coming of the sharks who will eat all the meat of the marlin before Santiago is able to return to shore. It implies that the marlin and Santiago are one, united against the ravaging sharks. This sentiment is contrary to the battle that is staged between man and fish as Santiago tries to outlast the marlin.
11.”EYES THE SAME COLOR AS THE SEA”
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEABy Jeffrey Herlihy (Morningside College)In several of Ernest Hemingway’s novels,the main character’s expatriation is a principal rhetorical device and a theme which critics often neglect.In The Old Man and the Sea Hemingway employs the perspective of a Spaniard in Cuba to broaden the scope of the narrative.As the author explains in a letter to Lillian Ross,“The Old Man was born a catholic in the island of Lanza Rota in the Canary Islands.This origin,with its attendant national and cultural differences,makes Santiago an outsider in the Cuban ﬁshing village of Cojímar and is a principal motivation in his actions.Santiago’s “eyes the same color as the sea” mark his otherness in a conspicuous and unchangeable way,setting him apart from the impoverished mulatto ﬁshing community,and linking him to European exploitation of the island nation.Probing the political,social,and cultural contexts that would affect a Spaniard living in a former colony,this study examines Santiago’s foreignness in the novella to establish how the protagonist’s ethnic and national otherness affects his actions and sense of selfin Cuba.The existing critical reception of The Old Man and the Sea has over-looked Santiago’s Spanish origins,an oversight that has had a profound importance on the interpretation of the work.Every critic—including Spaniard Angel Capellán—reads the novella as though Santiago is Cuban,despite the fact that he was born in Spain.An analysis of the old man’s life …READ FULL WRITE-UP HERE…Eyes_the_Same_Color_as_the_Sea
Gregorio Fuentes: The Inspiration for the Character of Santiago?
Gregorio Fuentes, the inspiration for the character of Santiago, was the captain of Hemingway’s boat, “Pilar,” during the years that Hemingway lived in Cuba. The two developed a strong friendship while Fuentes was Hemingway’s captain and cook for nearly 30 years. They met in 1928.
Fuentes was born in the Canary Islands in 1897; when his father died during their journey to Cuba, Fuentes was taken in by other immigrants at the age of six. He died in 2002 at the age of 104 in the house he had always lived in while preparing to go to church.(see pics above)
Some have queried the general idea that Fuentes whom Hemingway left his boat to was the ‘Old Man’. They claim that the Fuentes was just one of the hired captains of the boat and that fact does not qualify him as the’ old man’. In fact some indicated that the actual person whose life history made up the novella was carlos_gutierrez with E.H in the picture below.However most people think it was Fuentes.
- Text of “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway for Waec/neco Literature Exams (36) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Keypoints of “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway for Waec/neco Literature Exams (37) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway…glossary of Terms and Major Themes for Waec/neco Literature Exams (41) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway…summary for Waec/neco Literature Exams (39) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- “The Old Man and the Sea” in Waec/neco Literature Exams:..is Any Part of Hemingway ‘s Personal Life and Experience Reflected in the Novel? (38) (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)