The Importance of the Journey in The Old Man and the Sea In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago, the main character of the novel experiences a physical and Journey which Is set In nature. It proves to be a physical Journey as Santiago goes out to sea and has to fight the fish to be able to catch It, but also a personal Journey, as this Journey allows us to see Santiago In different states. This journey is set in the sea, which gives importance to nature, which is the main theme.
The journey to sea Santiago goes on proves to be a real physical battle for him. Merely a few hours after being at sea, Santiago catches his first fish, a big marlin. This is when Santiago physical struggle really begins. Santiago isn’t strong enough to pull the fish up on his own, and so he lets it pull him instead. Santiago is patient, and waits for the fish to come get tired, and come up on his own. Santiago realizes that this may last a long time, so he put the line across his shoulders for a better grip. This was not a comfortable position for Santiago, but he ore with It.
Santiago Is In physical pain, he spends three days in an uncomfortable position, and his hands get cuts all over them. HIS left hand gets a cramp which seems to refuse to leave. The strength of the fish would cause the old man to fall In painful and uneasy positions: “He had been pulled down tight on to the bow and his face was in the cut slice of dolphin and he could not move. ” This physical struggle exhausted Santiago, and the weather alongside with the fact that Santiago hadn’t come prepared were not helping. He was not only physically drained out, but also morally.
Santiago struggle is not only physical, but moral too. It could be perceived as a personal Journey, as an inner struggle. From the way the author describes Santiago, we can deduce that he is a confident, determined and strong old man. As we get deeper into the story, we realize that this is true, but that Santiago holds nevertheless a certain weakness to him, and that he has to struggle with himself to stay strong. The following quote is a good example of this: “I am not good for many more turns. Yes you are, he told himself. You are good forever. The weaker side of Santiago wants to give up; he doesn’t have faith In himself, but then the stronger, more determined Santiago steps in to keep him going. Another example of an inner struggle is towards he end of the novel, when Santiago finishes fighting the sharks. He knows they have beaten him, yet he says: “And what beat you, he thought. ‘Nothing,’ he said aloud. ‘l went too far. ” Santiago constantly contradicts himself, creating his small struggles. During this Journey, Santiago experiences different odds, and different states of mind.
He is brought to new levels and he is psychologically challenged, and even though he is troubled, and in pain, we are able to see his gentle side, through his love of nature. Through the journey, we see Santiago closeness to nature. It allows us to see how much he really loves the creatures, and how much he respects them. We see this more precisely through the way he calls the fish his “Brother” and friend. He even says: “Fish, I love you and respect you very much. ” Furthermore, his gentleness comes out when he talks to the mall bird: “How old are you?
Is this your first trip? ” he wants it to be safe, and Santiago love as well as respect for nature from the way he talks about other element in nature, such as the sea, or the wind: “He always thought of her as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. ” He compares it to a woman, and describes it using adjectives such as “kind and beautiful. ” Later on in the novel, he talks about the wind, saying: “The wind is our friend. ” As before mentioned, Santiago loves and respects nature.
His closeness to nature is one that many few of us have. He not only uses it for the pleasure, but for survival. He counts on it to help him in everything he does. In summary, the Journey is important in this novel as it is thanks to it that we see Santiago evolve as a character. We see him in every state: confident, gentle, strong, weak, determined and defeated. In effect, this Journey allows the plot to be more exciting to the character, at the same time showing the importance of nature to Santiago, but also to the novel itself.