Old Man and the Sea Term Paper

Pages: 2 (801 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sports

¶ … Old Man and the Sea

Baseball & Fishing Provide the Net, but Hemingway has the Hook

For those who think Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is a story about baseball, they are partly correct. And for those who think it is a fishing story, they are on the right track too. And still other readers who see this as a metaphor for growing old - juxtaposing youth (Manolin) and age (Santiago) - in Cuba or anywhere, they have something going for them too. But in this wonderful story about a Cuban fisherman who first goes without a fish for 84 days and then catches one that's too big to handle, baseball and fishing are just tools that Hemingway uses to capture the reader's emotions. Much like a fisherman has a net to assure that he will land the fish he has hooked, Hemingway's baseball and fishing allegories are like the net to bring the reader up to the boat of deeper understanding, once the reader's been hooked into reading the story in the first place.

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When reading the story, a baseball fan who has been around for awhile - or who has studied the great teams and great players of the past - is immediately hooked into tale, because the novel begins and ends with baseball. Santiago's little apprentice, Manolin, has been told by his parents not to go out fishing with a man who has such bad luck, but he wants to go anyway; Santiago tells him "No. Go and play baseball" (p. 12). Moreover, readers learn that while Manolin's parents don't have much faith in Santiago, in fact Santiago doesn't have much faith in religion. On page 17, Santiago tells the boy to "have faith in the Yankees, my son." It seems that baseball has been Santiago's religion, perhaps filling in for God and Christianity; on page 103-04, when Santiago thrusts the harpoon into the shark, he says thinking "is all I have left. That and baseball."

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With a little bit of research a reader learns that baseball is hugely popular in Cuba. Even Fidel Castro played professional baseball at one time. All little kids growing up play in the streets, or in back yards, or if they're lucky to be near a park, they play there. Hemingway understood the connections between baseball, Cuba, and the struggle to stay alive (old age) and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Old Man and the Sea."  Essaytown.com.  November 19, 2006.  Accessed September 25, 2021.