The Old Man Research Paper

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The Old Man behind the Old Man Throughout the span of his life, Ernest Hemingway had adopted an ethos of bravado and machismo. He served in the Red Cross during the First World War as well as serving as a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He was brought up on war crimes for breaking the Geneva conventions and was known to hunt German submarines with hand grenades from his fishing boat. As a sports angler, he was known to kill sharks with a machine gun to prevent them from stealing his catch. He set the world record for the most marlin caught in one day. Hemingway’s other interests included big game hunting, boxing, bullfighting, horse riding, flying planes, and motor racing (Hotchner). Hemingway was also found to…show more content…
Hemingway himself said, “There isn't any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know (Letters).” Obviously, he was mistaken though, while he may not have intentionally added any symbolism; his personal insecurities, fears, and anxieties bled into his work. It was no coincidence that the protagonist Santiago was long in the tooth nor was it happenstance that the old man overcomes a challenge designed for the young and virile, despite his…show more content…
I believe the sharks represent the various challenges of growing older; some are forceful and violent while others sneak up on you and steal little bits of you. The desperate battle Santiago fights, against the sharks, is his way of saying he will not quietly accept infirmity. Even though the fish is destroyed and beyond use, Santiago brings the skeleton into port regardless. It is a point of pride, a means of proving to the village what he proved to himself, while out at sea, that he is still capable of greatness (Hemingway

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