The Old Man And The Sea-Change Essay, Research Paper
The Old Man and the Sea- Change
“Change in all things is sweet.” Aristotle was right when he uttered the words that lived on as this inspirational quote. When the attitudes of people, your surroundings, or yourself, take an unexpected turn, you usually end up finding out subsequently why changes in your life truly happen. Aside from the confusion and pain that primarily goes with it, change is an unintentional yet vital lesson on how to endure what life hands you. In Hemmingway’s novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, Santiago and Manolin both go through quite a transformation as the boy emerges into the man he aspires to be and Santiago learns to except his fate.
Once “El Champion” of the village, Santiago returns fish-less from an 84 day stretch of fishing over the vast ocean. He is left in an unfortunate reality that he’s not who he once was. “There was no cast net and the boy remembered when they had sold it. But they went through this fiction everyday. There was no pot of yellow rice and fish and the boy knew this too.” (16) To keep his pride, and in almost denial, the old deteriorating fisherman pretends there is a meal ready to eat in the presence of the boy when there isn’t a freshly caught fish in a 10 mile radius of the dilapidated shack. It’s hard to accept that the fishing glories from the past are but a memory for Santiago as he welcomes poverty with humble hands.
The phrase “Nobody loves you when you’re down and out” depicts the relationship regarding Santiago with the town perfectly. When he was catching great fish and winning arm wrestling matches at local pubs the town could do nothing but respect him. But even knowing of his destitution, bad luck, and old-fashioned ways, the townspeople just scowl and taunt him. The once well respected man is now frowned upon. Even when he comes back from the excursion to catch the marlin, the majority of the community, except for the boy, were standing around the skiff, staring in awe at the leftovers of the great fish, not concerning themselves for a minute to see about the well being of Santiago. ” The boy saw that the old man was bleeding and then he saw that the old man’s hands and started to cry Many fisherman were around the slope looking at what was lashed beside it and one was in the water, his trousers rolled up, measuring the skelaton with a length of line.” The exhausted fisherman was sleeping peacefully while the friends he used to have were outside gauking at his loss, filling the boy full of rage because these people were disrespecting his only mentor figure, just salting the wounds that were already there.
Manolin’s mediocre family life and his strong desire to be a fisherman leaves Santiago to be the only person the boy can truly look up to. He admires the things the old man has accomplished in the past, and how after his transformation from a fishing champion to a luckless old man, Santiago still appreciates everything he has.
It was a very painful thing for the boy to observe when the old man, hands bleeding, and the skeleton of an 18-foot marlin tied to his skiff was lying in bed while the rest of the town just looking past him to the amazing fish remains. Manolin transformed into almost a completely different person when his father figure failed in his all-time most important goal. To start a new beginning, Manolin decides to start fishing again right away-except this time they’d do it together.
“Up the road, in his shack, the old man was sleeping again. He was still sleeping on his face and the boy was sitting by him watching him. The old man was dreaming about the lions.”(127)His life has altered so much, that one of the only ways he can feel like things are the way they used to be is to go back there, in his dreams. He dreams of the majestic lions of Africa emitting pride with every step-something Santiago had wanted all his life, to have something to be proud of again. Even though the defeat of the old man made a huge impact on Manolin, it makes him take a more independent role in his own life and realizes that the effects of change in one’s life in the future will work for you, not against you.