It is said that ` Hemingway’s heroes learn from the pain and suffering they undergo. Explain it in the case of Santiago?

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It is said that ` Hemingway’s heroes learn from the pain and suffering they undergo. Explain it in the case of Santiago?

Post by Archer on Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:49 am

Write a note on the Old Man’s love of nature and man?

It is said that ` Hemingway’s heroes learn from the pain and suffering they undergo. Explain it in the case of Santiago?


Discuss briefly how does Santiago’s struggle with the marlin make him compassionate?

Hemingway may be called a naturalistic novelist. He considered man as apart of nature and tried to depict his life, fate and personality in relation with the other objects of nature. Nature in his eyes is perverted and cruel and is bent upon destroying its creatures or making life hard for them. Hemingway believed that man’s happiness comes wholly from the expression and fulfillment of his natural self. The primary enjoyments such as active sports, violence, drinking, sex, friendship, etc. can help in minimizing the tensions and miseries of life in this unfriendly universe. Similarly, the pursuing of noble ideals, the assertion of masculine courage and the demonstration of human pride and honor can also help man in making his life purposeful and worth living. In order to illustrate this view of life, Hemingway always puts his heroes in difficult and dangerous situations where they have to face death and destruction.

They have to struggle hard and bear pains that display their courage, bravery and the power of endurance. The pain and suffering they undergo leaves healthy impact on their minds and makes them saner in their attitude. Hemingway’s hero is a realistic person, showing stoical acceptance of painful reality, having nothing to complain or mourn if he is defeated. His heroes are given the choice of facing the inevitable with fortitude or despair. This philosophy of life made him select such rough fields of life for writing as fishing, hunting, horse-racing, bull-lighting, war, etc. He invariably tries to demonstrate through his novels that since extinction is the ultimate destiny of all living beings, to die gracefully is as important as to live honorably.

In the novel “The Old Man and the Sea”, the hero is alienated from human society and is left alone on the wide sea for three days and nights. During this time he does not feel alone end establishes his solidarity with the world of nature around him. This feeling enables him to bear his ordeal more easily. His isolation creates in him the feelings of brotherhood with the creatures of water and air. He loves the flying fish, the green turtles and the hawkbills and calls them brothers. He even liked the loggerheads that looked huge and stupid. The only sea creature that excited his contempt was the Portuguese men-of-war and scavenger sharks. When a tired warbler came to rest on his line, the Old Man felt very happy and wished to spread a sail for his comfort. He felt pity for the poor bird and thought that the life of birds was the hardest of all creatures. He felt compassionate even to the marlin he had hooked and called it his brother. He wished that he could feed the marlin as he had fed himself.

When the dead marlin is attacked by the sharks, the Old Man feels that his own body is being torn by the scavengers. He considered his moral duty to defend his ‘brother’ against the wild creatures who wanted to eat away the meat of the baited fish. Afterwards he did not like to look at the body of the beautiful marlin that had been mutilated by the sharks. He regretted of having hooked the marlin and said, “Fish, I am sorry for having killed you, I should not have gone so far out. It ruined both of us.” Thus we see that the pain and suffering born by the Old Man makes him charitable and loving to all the creatures of God. When he nears his destination, he thinks that many old fishermen would be worried about his safety, besides the boy Manolin. He feels consolation to think that he is living in a good locality. This compassionate attitude is not due to any religious creed but the result of a sense that he and all creatures participate in the same pattern of necessity.

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