The Old Man Of The Sea
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The Old Man Of The Sea
In Greek mythology, the Old Man of the Sea (Greek: ἅλιος γέρων, translit. hálios gérōn; Greek: Γέροντας της Θάλασσας, translit. Gérontas tēs Thálassas) was a primordial figure who could be identified as any of several water-gods, generally Nereus or Proteus, but also Triton, Pontus, Phorcys or Glaucus. He is the father of Thetis (the mother of Achilles).
In book 4 of Homer's Odyssey, Menelaus recounts to Telemachus his journey home, and how he had to seek the advice of the Old Man of the Sea. The Old Man can answer any questions if captured, but capturing him means holding on as he changes from one form to another. Menelaus captured him, and during the course of questioning, asked if Telemachus' father Odysseus was still alive.
Sinbad the Sailor encountered the monstrous Old Man of the Sea (Arabic: شيخ البحر, romanized: Shaykh al-Bahr) on his fifth voyage. The Old Man of the Sea in the Sinbad tales was said to trick a traveller into letting him ride on his shoulders while the traveller transported him across a stream. However, the Old Man would then not release his grip, forcing his victim to transport him wherever he pleased and allowing his victim little rest. The Old Man's victims all eventually died of this miserable treatment, with the Old Man either eating them or else robbing them. Sinbad, however, after getting the Old Man drunk with wine, was able to shake him off and kill him.
The Old Man of the Sea is alluded to in Edwin Arlington Robinson's book-length narrative poem King Jasper. In part 3 of the poem, King Jasper dreams of his deceased friend Hebron (whom Jasper betrayed) riding on his back. "You cannot fall yet, and I'm riding nicely," Hebron tells Jasper. "If only we might have the sight of water, / We'd say that I'm the Old Man of the Sea, / And you Sinbad the Sailor." Hebron then turns to gold (a symbol of Jasper's motivation for betraying him) and coaxes Jasper to leap across a ravine with the heavy, golden Hebron on his back.
Referencing the figures of Adam, Christofer (Columbus) and Friday in succession, the poem's narrator remarks, "All shapes, all objects multiplied from his,/our ocean's Proteus;/in childhood, his derelict's old age/was like a god's."
The Old Man and the Sea is a novella written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cayo Blanco (Cuba), and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction written by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba.
In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.
Santiago is an aging, experienced fisherman who has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish. He is now seen as "salao" (colloquial pronunciation of "salado", which means salty), the worst form of unlucky. Manolin, a young man whom Santiago has trained since childhood, has been forced by his parents to work on a luckier boat. Manolin remains dedicated to Santiago, visiting his shack each night, hauling his fishing gear, preparing food, and talking about American baseball and Santiago's favorite player, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago says that tomorrow, he will venture far out into the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba in the Straits of Florida to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end.
On the eighty-fifth day of his unlucky streak, Santiago takes his skiff out early. By noon, he has hooked a big fish that he is sure is a marlin, but he is unable to haul it in. He is unwilling to tie the line to the boat for fear that a sudden jerk from the fish would break the line. With his back, shoulders, and hands, he holds the line for two days and nights. He gives slack as needed while the marlin pulls him far