Sea Essay, Research Paper
Comparative Essay Between The Old Man and the Sea and True Grit
The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, a simply written novel of an old man s singular struggle, while trying to catch a fish, against forces of the sea overpowering him and True Grit, by Charles Portis, a gripping western, placing you in the middle of the action during a girl s quest with two other men to get revenge for her father s murder, are two works united in several ways. Many similarities throughout both works appeared evident. Plot, theme, and characterization categorize those similarities.
First of all, in plot, the works share the same event progression. An early start, a determined drive, a final showdown, and an attempt to continue the achievement. The intentions were to simply accomplish no matter what the circumstance. The Old Man set out early in the morning as indicated here, he began to row out of the harbour in the dark. In True Grit, Mattie, a girl bent on avenging her father s death, Rooster, a federal marshal, and LaBoeuf, a Texas Ranger, set off when, It was still dark outside and bitter cold although mercifully there was little wind. The dedication involved in the characters pursuits becomes more evident later on. He is a great fish, the old man told himself, and I must convince him not to learn his strength As it was also with the Mattie from True Grit. I knew both of them (Rooster and LaBoeuf) were waiting for me to complain or say something that would make me out to be a tenderfoot. I was determined not to give them anything to chaff me about. Her intents were not purely superficial though. Her anger toward a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney, was a key factor in driving her to achieve her purpose. Finally, after toiling with the fish, the Old Man, took all his pain and what was left of his strength and his long gone pride and he put it against the fish s agony, in his last bout with the great fish. The same sort of event occurs at the same point in the story line in True Grit. Rooster said, Fill your hand you son of a bitch! and he took the reins in his teeth and pulled the other saddle revolver and drove his spurs into the flanks of his strong horse Bo and charged directly at the bandits. This courage shows in Mattie also. Taking on a grown man she, sent a lead ball of justice, too long delayed, into the criminal head of Tom Chaney. The Old Man caught his fish, as did Mattie, but it did not come without a price. The Old Man s prize became preyed upon by many sharks, proceeding his capture of the great fish, attracted by the blood of the kill. The Old Man fought desperately with the sharks even using a broken stick, a piece of the tiller, clubbing them in the head, fighting desperately to preserve his triumph. This was also the case with Mattie and Rooster. The shot, which she had so anticipated, was almost her killer, sending her a large where she was bitten by a rattler. After being pulled out of the pit by a shot up Rooster, Mattie was hurriedly carried off in a desperate attempt to save her life, to prolong her own achievement.
Another likeness, beyond plot, develops in characterization, between the Old Man and Rooster. Both of the examples were of men who had very little. The Old Man was quite poor as indicated here: He rolled himself in the blanket and slept on the other old newspapers that covered the springs of the bed. Rooster lived in, a small room in the back of a Chinese grocery store. Perhaps the most visible trait in common was that the both of them had True Grit. They didn t loose their nerve. Most any man would ve gone insanely mad sitting in one position for three days holding, with raw, bloody hands, a line, on which, at the other end, is a fifteen hundred pound fish, all the while having only birds for companions and eating raw fish. The same goes for Rooster. Who else but a man with true grit would charge at several robbers at once, armed with only two pistols, getting his horse and self shot up, then climbing a hill to the edge of a pit, slide down amidst the rattlers, pull out a girl, hike her and himself up on a pony and bolt toward a fort, miles away, spurring the pony to death, then running with the girl on his back until happening upon another means of transportation and forcefully taking it, and beat another few miles back until help can be acquired. Both the men showed incredible determination.
Showing persistence in the face of adversity is a valiant quality found only in those truly determined. I believe this would suffice to be the predominant theme of both The Old Man and the Sea and True Grit. The old man was going to break his streak of eighty-four days without catching a fish. He didn t care what the cost. He set out deeper than usual in his small skiff and did the impossible. He claimed from the sea a great fish. Sure, the sea claimed most of the fish back, but he broke his streak. Mattie did what she set out to do. She killed Tom Chaney, avenging her father s death, and with his pistols to boot. She showed strength and courage, even for a girl, and was a finisher.
Both novels progressed in the same fashion. Both novels portrayed courageous characters overcoming obstacles. Both novels shared a theme, trite as it may be, it sums up the majority of what progressed in the two works. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything.