School Letter
Literary Analysis Reflection for The Old Man and The Sea

Old Man and The Sea

Perseverance and Santiago


Perseverance is not a long race; but many short races one after another. 
-Walter Elliot

Ernest Hemingway 

You need to preserve to survive. In the book, The Old Man And The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago, the main feature, did just that. He went through rigorous pain, lots of challenges, and faced adversity. What kept him going was his ability to persevere in a life-or-death situation. 

On day #1, Santiago connects baseball to fishing. Joe DiMaggio, his favorite player, was idolized by Santiago. DiMaggio gave the man the drive to persevere. Even when he was fatigued, tired, and starving, he wouldn't give up. 


But I must have the confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel.


He went through too much pain to give up. When he was fighting the fish, he had the urge to defeat the fish and persevere, "Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends." Later that day, he split his hand open on the line; when it started to cramp, he wasn't sure how much longer he could go, “God help me to have the cramp go," he said. "Because I do not know what the fish is going to do.” Although he was in agonizing pain, he would never give in. He knew that even after he tied the fish to the boat, he would risk his life for the fish. He worked too hard for that fish. He went through too much pain and suffering to let it be eaten. Even when he was weak and dying, he fought those sharks until he died. “I am too old to club sharks to death. But I will try it as long as I have the oars and the short club and the tiller.” Even when he was on the verge of giving up, he realized that there was no reason not to fight the sharks off. He gathered up all of his strength and called the shark back, “Come on, galano," the old man said. "Come in again.” He wouldn't go down without a flight. He always persevered and never gave in to failure. 

There are many excuses out there not to catch a fish, but Santiago does not take that bait. 


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