Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Final Writing


  1. Have you ever been involved in a long-term fight against a concrete or abstract enemy? In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea, published in 1952, the old fisherman struggling to catch an eighteen feet long marlin certainly was. The story starts when Santiago, the fisherman, goes to sea on the eighty-fifth day without catching a fish. He gets a bite and then struggles against the hooked fish during five days, fighting against defeat, pain and sleep, before catching it. When he returns to shore, sharks eat his big marlin. This essay will treat of the many struggles Santiago encounters during the novel and the succesful transformation he wins from them.
    Good start!
    We will first of all treat of Santiago’s psychological struggles. He first fights against defeat, when he hasn’t caught a fish for eighty-four days. The man feels his old age pushing on him while he sees the other fishermen continue to catch fish. While at sea, the fisherman fights against tiredness, because he can’t permit himself to fall asleep while trying to catch the marlin. His thoughts become unclear and dreamlike when sleep becomes more and more necessary : ““Keep my head clear,” he said against the wood of the bow. “I am a tired old man.”” He still fights against defeat and sleep to keep his mind clear. To resume, the old man’s mental struggles are a principal theme in the novel which show his psychological strength.

  2. Also, the old fisherman has to fight against physical struggles. When at sea, he fights against the pain that the line causes to his hands and back. The quotation : ”pain does not matter to a man” represents Santiago’s possibility to obliviate the pain to continue his fight. Then, Santiago has to lead a fight against the sharks that try to eat his marlin when he is coming back to shore. This struggle is physical, but also deals with the character’s capacity of being wise while facing the discouraging situation. The struggle Santiago has against sharks and pain represent the fight between civilization and nature .
    6, 12+
    Finally, at the end of the novel, Santiago has lost his fish, which was his only goal. However, the main character is still successful. He first won against his physical human needs like hunger, wounds and sleepiness . It is the illustration of a man winning over nature, which is a great accomplishment. When the sharks have finally eaten all of the fish, it says : “He had no thoughts nor any feelings of any kind. He was past everything now” . Santiago has gained peace of mind and serenity during his struggles. The fisherman has also proved his courage, faith, control, honour and endurance to himself and to the other fishermen. Even if he only brings back the carcass of the fish, he has gained everyone’s respect. So, Santiago is successful by the transformations that he has gained during his struggles.
    To conclude, Santiago endures both psychological and physical struggles, but still succeeds to keep his head clear, which is a sign of great strength. Even if his struggles seem vain, because he has lost the fish, the old man is successful because he gains wisdom, faith and serenity. These soul transformations translate the point of fighting even though the result is vain. So, The Old Man and the Sea is an inspiration that should infuse a desire to continue struggling for causes we believe in.
    Very well done!
    Sources at end?
    Content 20: 17
    Coherence 20: 18
    Style and Syntax 20: 18
    Vocabulary 20: 18
    Grammar 10: 9
    Spelling and punctuation 10: 8.5

    Total 100: 88.5