Question # 4: Is Santiago a superstitious man? Explain.

Question # 4: Is Santiago a superstitious man? Explain. //// Is the old man superstitious? Justify or otherwise.

Answer: Santiago is not superstitious character. Having remained unsuccessful for eighty four days, he believes that he may succeed in future. He is a realist and believers in his skills and the techniques of fishing. He tells to the boy (Manolin).

‘Every day is new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. They say when luck comes you are ready.’

Santiago’s ideas are real. He believes in the power to endure suffering. The suffering provides a basis for hope and faith. He tells the Boys:

‘I may not be as strong as I think’, the old man said. ‘But I know many tricks and I have resolution.’

Santiago feels that he has committed no sin by killing the big fish, the Marlin. He attacks the sharks. He knows that the attack of sharks is not surprising. His defeat by the sharks is due to his going ‘to far out’ on the sea. All this is beyond the limits of the human beings. He also feels that he has betrayed the Marlin through ticks. He never shows any sign of being a superstitious.

Question # 5: “The fish is Santiago’s friend and enemy at the same time.”

Question # 5: “The fish is Santiago’s friend and enemy at the same time.” Discuss and explain the statement.

Answer: In fact Santiago, the old fisherman, is both compassionate and cruel towards the fish, Marlin. Obviously, attitude towards the marlin is that of a benevolent-cruel fisherman.

Santiago’s adventure and fight with the big fish brings to light that the fish (Marlin) is the old man’s both friend and enemy at the same time. The following textual references while his struggle with the marlin, are noteworthy.

I. ‘Fish ————– I love you and respect you very much but I will kill you before the day ends.’
II. ‘The fish is my friend too.’
III. ‘There are three things that are brothers: the fish (Marlin), and my two hands.’

The novelist also tells us about Santiago’s feelings of friendship and enmity for the giant fish, the Marlin as:

‘Then he was sorry for the great fish (Marlin) that has nothing to eat and his determination to kill him (Marlin) never relaxed in his sorrow for him.’

The above textual references show that Santiago loves and respects the big fish, but at the same time, he feels the fish that he will certainly kill him before the day ends. He treats the Marlin both as a friend or brother and as an enemy.

‘Come on and kill me, I do not care who kills who.’

Question # 6: Read the following extracts from your novel

Question # 6: Read the following extracts from your novel (The old man and the sea) and answer the questions given at the end.

Questions:
i. “I will show what a man can do and what a man can endure.”
Hemingway, the novelist, is referring to one of the old man’s quality here what is the quality?

ii. “The old man was wet him with sweat and tired deep into his bones.”
The old man was deeply tired, but still did not give up. Explain how he had to bear pain?

Answer: i) In this extract, the novelist is referring to the old man’s quality of ‘endurance’. It is his power to face the sufferings. He wants to win his goal. He wants to hunt and kill the giant fish, the Marlin. He has already hooked this big fish.

The sight of the big fish, Marlin, is a symbol of his stimulus to move towards his goal. The old man says:

‘Let him (Marlin) think I am more man than I am and I will be.’

Santiago compares himself with the huge fish, Marlin, when he says:

‘I will show him (Marlin) what a man can do and what a man endures.’

It is the quality of endurance, resolution or determination. He wants to do something for the achievement of his goal. Killing the Marlin shows of symbolizes the old man’s goal in life. It is a goal that is far off and the way leading to it is full of hardships and dangers. Santiago’s voyage towards his goal causes him much pain.

ii) In this extract, the novelist tells us that the old man was wet with sweat. He was dead tired. He had his prolonged adventure with the big fish, marlin. He had hunted it. He lashed it along one side of his skiff for his return voyage towards the sea shore.

In the meantime, the sharks arrived there. The old man already expected them. The sharks came to attach the dead fish one after the other and then in groups they snatched away the flesh of the fish from the old man. It is here the novelist tells us that the old man was already wet with sweat and was dead tired. But he fought a heroic fight with the sharks. The old man’s hands were badly cramped. But he did not yield to the sharks. He faced all the pain heroically. He remained undefeated despite his outward defeat by the sharks. His victory over the sharks was no doubt a moral victory.

Q # 7: Is to retain a thing more difficult in the American Society..

Question # 7: Is to retain a thing more difficult in the American Society than to obtain the same? Explain.

Answer: The novel ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ highlights Santiago’s quest for a big fish. He wins the battle against the giant fish, Marlin. He is gifted with courage and strong will power. He addresses the big fish, Marlin as:

‘You are killing me fish. But you have a right too. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or nobler thing than you, brother. Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who.’

It is now evident that it has become difficult for the old man to prolong and retain his big fish with him. The sharks prove to be more terrible enemies for him than the marlin. In his struggle with the marlin, the old man comes out victorious. But in fight with the sharks to save the Marlin from them Santiago suffers a defeat. The sharks attach the Marlin time and again. Ultimately they snatch away from the poor old man all the flesh of the Marlin.

As Santiago is a member of American Society, he fails completely to retain the Marlin. No doubt the Marlin was obtained after a prolonged and painful struggle. The author is fully justified in concluding that it is more difficult to retain a thing than to obtain it.

Question # 8: Once the old man said, “His hope and his confidence have never gone.

Question # 8: Once the old man said, “His hope and his confidence have never gone. But they were freshening as when the breeze arises.” Explain.

Answer: Santiago believes in hope. To him it is sin not to hope. For eighty-four days he fails in catch in any fish. But even then he does not fall a prey to sadness. He has a firm faith and self-confidence. He goes far out on the sea. He is all alone. On eighty-fifth day, he succeeds in catch in a big fish. It is all the result of his firm faith in hope.

At the same time, the old man is a believer in realism. He is not superstitious. He does not believe in luck. He depends on his technique of fishing. He succeeds in hunting the big fish. According to him, hope and confidence are two important pillars of success. In this regards, he is a spokesman of the novelist, Hemingway.

Question # 9: Justify the ending of the novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.

Question # 9: Justify the ending of the novel, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’.

Answer: Some critics are of the view that the ending of the novel is not justified but most of the critics are of the view that the author is fully justified.

The old fisherman goes far out on the sea. He hopes to catch a big fish. After a constant struggle of forty-eight hours, he succeeds in hunting a big fish, Marlin. He lashes it with skiff.

The sharks come out to attack the big fish, Marlin. The old fisherman fights like a hero but all his efforts end in smoke. At last the sharks snatch away the whole flesh of the big fish, Marlin. The old man is left with nothing except the skeleton of the fish. He returns to the seashore.

It is a heroic fight. It is the struggle. But he fails to protect the big fish, Marlin. The novel is a story of ‘gain and loss’. It provides the readers a satisfaction.

The author wants to justify that human life does not depend on success or failure. Its greatness lies in constant struggle and invincible will power. The old man loses the battle but does not lose his heart. The ending of the novel is natural and realistic.

Question # 10: Would you call the novel a tragedy?

Question # 10: Would you call the novel a tragedy, if so, does it carry a sense of moral order. Discuss.

Answer: According to Aristotle a tragic hero is one who has the following qualities:

i. He is better than ordinary human beings.

ii. He suffers because of his mistaken act or his error of judgment.

iii. He exhibits great endurance in face of sufferings. He may die or fail miserably at the end.

iv. There is an inner conflict, which keeps the hero in confusion.

v. His suffering may arise pity and terror.

In the light of above points we see that the old man is a perfect tragic hero.

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