Unexpected Quests In The Old Man And The Road

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Unexpected Quests in Literature A quest, small or large, is described in most works of literature. Quests often require a great expedition on the part of the protagonist, and the overcoming of many obstacles, hardships and sufferings. A majority of the time the character is not aware of the journey that they are embarking on. According to Thomas C Foster, in his article How to Read Literature Like a Professor, a quest must contain five key components; a quester, a place to go along with a stated reason to go there, obstacles along the way and a real reason to go there. Stories such as; Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and Cormac McCarthy's The Road are great examples of quests in modern literature. The characters in each novel embark on their own quests, and along the way …show more content…

The novel written by Ernest Hemingway tells the story of an old fisherman named Santiago (referred to as "the old man") and his quest of catching a fish. Unfortunately, the old man has been down on his luck and has been fish-less for eighty-four days. The next time the old man leaves for a fishing trip, he sets sail farther than any fisherman has ever gone before, and he refuses to go home until he has proven to himself and to society that he is more than an average old man. However the old man is forced to overcome many challenges on his quest. His old age hinders him drastically and when he is finally able to get a fish on his line, he is not strong enough and is unable to reel the fish in. On the third day of the fishing expedition as the old man continues to struggle with the fish (a large marlin), he begins to reflect on the nature of the universe and his low place in society. The old man begins to feel pity for the fish, however also feels an unflagging determination to kill

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