Do you think that Santiago was a superstitious person?

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Do you think that Santiago was a superstitious person?

Post by Archer on Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:57 am

Write short note on the Old Man’s religion,

OR

Do you think that Santiago was a superstitious person?

OR

Discuss briefly the Old Man’s sense of sin?


Santiago, the Old fisherman, is the hero of Hemingway’s novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”. He plays the central role in the story. All the incidents throw light on one or the other aspect of his personality. As a novelist, Hemingway was more interested in the complexities of human nature and the possibilities of human personality than in the social, economic or political problems of his time, In his novels, he tries to set man against the background of this world and the universe, and then tries to examine the human situation from various points of view. In the Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway has glorified human struggle against heavy odds, and wants to show how man possesses vast fund of courage, power of endurance and ingenuity to defeat the forces of nature much stronger than himself. His hero, the old fisherman happens to hook a huge marlin that proves to be too strong and unmanageable for an old and unaided man like him. Instead of yielding to her angler, the fish decides to put up resistance. The Old Man’s sense of honor and pride does not permit him to let the sea-monster go. He is determined to overpower it by means of his skill and experience. Hemingway tries to demonstrate that in the struggle of life man is essentially alone, and he should depend upon his own qualities and resources. His heroes seldom seek the help of God or any supernatural power.

Santiago, the old fisherman, is not a superstitious person. In his hour of despair he thinks of God’s help. He prays to God to make the marlin eat the bait and get hooked. He says that he is not a religious man in the traditional sense, yet he would say “Our Fathers” ten times if he succeeds in angling the fish. He even starts saying “Hail Marys” in a mechanical manner. Then he again seeks God’s help when his left hand gets cramped. lt shows that Santiago’s religiosity is only of practical utility, without having any concern with faith or outlook of life. He admits to himself that he has no knowledge of religion or sin. When the baited fish is plundered away by sharks, he realizes that perhaps he had committed a sin and invited the wrath of nature by going beyond the normal boundary for fishing. But then he tries to banish the idea of sin from his mind by thinking that “everything kills everything else in some way.” He tries to justify his act of taking the life of the marlin by saying that he was born to be an angler just as the fish was created to be preyed upon. It shows that like other heroes of Hemingway, the Old Man is also mystified by the universe he has been put in, but he does not show any allegiance to metaphysical forces. He is a man of realistic approach to life who believes that life is full of hardships and problems that must be faced in a dignified manner.
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