18 Foot Marlin

Decent Essays
Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is about an old fisherman, Santiago, who has not caught a fish for almost three months. He then goes on a three-day fishing trip, where he catches a gigantic 18 foot marlin. Once he kills it, he tries to tow it back to sure with his humble skiff. On his way back, the marlin is devoured by sharks. He gets back to shore with nothing but the skeleton. Hemingway gets the reader to sympathize and even empathize with Santiago by using various techniques.

When marlin fishing, Santiago gets cuts from the line when the marlin jumps. “His hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords” (1). Most people have had cuts before, so they can empathize with him, even though the reader is probably not a poor, unlucky fisherman.
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He had been out for days in efforts to catch a fish, and when he does, it is torn up by other forces. This has happened to so many people that is has caused a new saying to appear: life is unfair. This allows the reader to empathize with him. For some readers, however, this is not enough. If they do some reading between the lines, they will then find out that the marlin represents Hemingway’s novels and the sharks represent the harsh critics who would figuratively rip the book to shreds with their comments. This will cause all readers to empathize with
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