Friday, August 13, 2010

The "Marlin"

Old Man and the Sea was, well, stubborn. Reading was boring, uneventful, and nearing the point of dropping the book. That was until the old man on the sea finally was able to reel in his monster of a fish. This "marlin" put up an amazing fight for just a fish, tugging the old man's boat for days, then surfacing momentarily only to go back under to pull the boat even further. In my opinion, it was not actually a fish. It must have been either some sort of illusion put on by Santiago's own mind or an anchor that had come apart from its ship and was hooked accidentally. In the case of the anchor, the old man must also have been insane to think he saw it swimming. The current system in the ocean must have moved the anchor, which then also tugged the boat in a whole, unnecessarily exagerated fashion. Supposedly, Santiago was also able to hold onto the swimming fish with only his hands clamped to the line for dear life; it seems completely impossible for anything to hold onto anything voluntarily for too much more than about half an hour. Even if Santiago did summon such a strength, how was he unable to make any sort of headway on the fish? The question remains without an answer. Or why would he want to stay with the fish for so long, knowing he was slowly being pulled farther and farther away from home, making it harder and harder on himself to get the beast back into shore? It sounds quite unrealistic, and the author, Ernest Hemingway, should have asked himself these sorts of questions before finalizing his thoughts in the book. Still, without understanding the flaws in the story, the plot in entirety was enticing but fairly predictable. A man went out to find the catch of a lifetime, found it, fought it, and was inevitably doomed from the start of taking more than he could chew, literally because he never was able to chew it.

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