Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WE ARE NOT AFRAID TO DIE IF WE CAN ALL BE TOGETHER BY GORDON BROWN


Q1. List the steps taken by the captain
(i) to protect the ship when rough weather began.
(ii) to check the flooding of the water in the ship.

(i) When the rough weather began the captain dropped the storm jib and lashed a heavy mooring rope in a loop across the stern. Then he double-lashed everything, went through the life-raft drill, attached lifelines, donned oilskins and life jackets to protect the ship when the rough weather began.

(ii) The captain used hammer, screws, and canvas to repair the holes that were causing water into the ship. He managed to stretch canvas and secure waterproof hatch covers across the gaping holes. Some water continued to stream below, but it was manageable using spare pumps.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eveline By James Joyce - Elective English Class XII CBSE

Eveline

Summary

Eveline Hill sits at a window in her home and looks out onto the street while fondly recalling her childhood, when she played with other children in a field now developed with new homes. Her thoughts turn to her sometimes abusive father with whom she lives, and to the prospect of freeing herself from her hard life juggling jobs as a shop worker and a nanny to support herself and her father. Eveline faces a difficult dilemma: remain at home like a dutiful daughter, or leave Dublin with her lover, Frank, who is a sailor. He wants her to marry him and live with him in Buenos Aires, and she has already agreed to leave with him in secret. As Eveline recalls, Frank’s courtship of her was pleasant until her father began to voice his disapproval and bicker with Frank. After that, the two lovers met clandestinely.

As Eveline reviews her decision to embark on a new life, she holds in her lap two letters, one to her father and one to her brother Harry. She begins to favor the sunnier memories of her old family life, when her mother was alive and her brother was living at home, and notes that she did promise her mother to dedicate herself to maintaining the home. She reasons that her life at home, cleaning and cooking, is hard but perhaps not the worst option—her father is not always mean, after all. The sound of a street organ then reminds her of her mother’s death, and her thoughts change course. She remembers her mother’s uneventful, sad life, and passionately embraces her decision to escape the same fate by leaving with Frank.

At the docks in Dublin, Eveline waits in a crowd to board the ship with Frank. She appears detached and worried, overwhelmed by the images around her, and prays to God for direction. Her previous declaration of intent seems to have never happened. When the boat whistle blows and Frank pulls on her hand to lead her with him, Eveline resists. She clutches the barrier as Frank is swept into the throng moving toward the ship. He continually shouts “Come!” but Eveline remains fixed to the land, motionless and emotionless.

Analysis


Eveline’s story illustrates the pitfalls of holding onto the past when facing the future. Hers is the first portrait of a female in Dubliners, and it reflects the conflicting pull many women in early twentieth-century Dublin felt between a domestic life rooted in the past and the possibility of a new married life abroad. One moment, Eveline feels happy to leave her hard life, yet at the next moment she worries about fulfilling promises to her dead mother. She grasps the letters she’s written to her father and brother, revealing her inability to let go of those family relationships, despite her father’s cruelty and her brother’s absence. She clings to the older and more pleasant memories and imagines what other people want her to do or will do for her. She sees Frank as a rescuer, saving her from her domestic situation. Eveline suspends herself between the call of home and the past and the call of new experiences and the future, unable to make a decision.

The threat of repeating her mother’s life spurs Eveline’s epiphany that she must leave with Frank and embark on a new phase in her life, but this realization is short-lived. She hears a street organ, and when she remembers the street organ that played on the night before her mother’s death, Eveline resolves not to repeat her mother’s life of “commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness,” but she does exactly that. Like the young boys of “An Encounter” and “Araby,” she desires escape, but her reliance on routine and repetition overrides such impulses. On the docks with Frank, away from the familiarity of home, Eveline seeks guidance in the routine habit of prayer. Her action is the first sign that she in fact hasn’t made a decision, but instead remains fixed in a circle of indecision. She will keep her lips moving in the safe practice of repetitive prayer rather than join her love on a new and different path. Though Eveline fears that Frank will drown her in their new life, her reliance on everyday rituals is what causes Eveline to freeze and not follow Frank onto the ship.

Eveline’s paralysis within an orbit of repetition leaves her a “helpless animal,” stripped of human will and emotion. The story does not suggest that Eveline placidly returns home and continues her life, but shows her transformation into an automaton that lacks expression. Eveline, the story suggests, will hover in mindless repetition, on her own, in Dublin. On the docks with Frank, the possibility of living a fully realized life left her.

Questions and Answers


Stop and Think (Page 15)

Q1. Why did Eveline review all the familiar objects at home?

ANSWER:
Eveline reviews the familiar objects at home to reflect on her past, feel attached to her family, and confront the weight of her responsibilities. The objects symbolise comfort and stability, making her question her decision to leave and prioritise the known over the uncertain. Ultimately, this contributes to her choice to stay.

Q2. Where was Eveline planning to go?

ANSWER:
Eveline is planning to go to Buenos Aires with Frank, a sailor she has become infatuated with. Frank promises to marry her and provide a new life in Argentina.

Stop and Think (Page 17)

Q1. Who was Frank? Why did Eveline’s father quarrel with him?

ANSWER:
Frank is Eveline's love interest and a sailor. Eveline's father quarrels with him because he disapproves of their relationship and opposes Eveline leaving with Frank.

Q2. What significance does Eveline find in the organplayer’s appearance on the day she had decided to
leave?

ANSWER:
In "Eveline" by James Joyce, the appearance of the organ player on the day Eveline had decided to leave holds significance for her. The organ player symbolises the ties to her past and her duty towards her family. When Eveline sees the organ player, she is reminded of her deceased mother, who used to sing with the organ player at the church. This evokes a sense of nostalgia and reinforces her connection to her family and the familiarity of her current life.

The organ player's presence on the day Eveline plans to leave acts as a reminder of the sacrifices she has made for her family and the obligations she feels towards them. It reinforces her sense of duty and the emotional pull she experiences towards her home and her responsibilities.

Understanding the Text

Q1. Name the two characters in this story whom Eveline liked and loved, and two she did not. What were the reasons for her feelings towards them?

ANSWER:
In "Eveline," the two characters Eveline liked and loved are Frank and her mother. Frank represents adventure and escape from her mundane life, while Eveline's mother symbolizes warmth and security. On the other hand, Eveline had negative feelings towards her abusive father and felt burdened by her responsibility towards her brother Harry. These characters influence Eveline's decisions and internal conflicts in the story.

Q2. Describe the conflict of emotions felt by Eveline on the day she had decided to elope with Frank.

ANSWER:
On the day Eveline decided to elope with Frank in "Eveline," she finds herself torn by a conflict of emotions. On one hand, she yearns for freedom and adventure, seeking to escape her oppressive life in Dublin. Frank represents a chance for a new beginning, a break from the monotony and hardships she faces. The prospect of a better life with him in Buenos Aires entices her with excitement and the allure of the unknown.

On the other hand, Eveline feels a strong sense of duty and responsibility towards her family. As the eldest sibling, she shoulders the burden of caring for her father and younger siblings, particularly her dependent brother Harry. The weight of these obligations anchors her to her home and fuels a fear of abandoning her familial duties. Eveline grapples with the conflicting desires of personal freedom and the ties that bind her to her family, resulting in a state of inner turmoil and indecision.

This conflict of emotions creates a significant internal struggle for Eveline as she weighs the potential rewards of a new life against the perceived risks and the fear of leaving behind the known. Ultimately, it shapes her decision-making process and influences the outcome of the story.

Q3. Why do you think Eveline let go of the opportunity to escape?

ANSWER:
Eveline's decision to let go of the opportunity to escape in "Eveline" is influenced by a combination of factors. Firstly, her strong sense of duty and responsibility towards her family plays a significant role. Eveline feels a deep obligation to care for her father and siblings, and the fear of abandoning them holds her back from pursuing her own desires for freedom and a new life.

Secondly, Eveline is plagued by the fear of the unknown. The prospect of leaving behind the familiar and venturing into an unfamiliar world in Buenos Aires fills her with anxiety and uncertainty. The fear of potential hardships, the unfamiliarity of a new environment, and the doubts about the unknown future contribute to her decision to stay, clinging to the perceived safety and stability of her current circumstances.

These factors, including her sense of duty and fear of the unknown, create internal conflicts and psychological paralysis, ultimately leading Eveline to let go of the opportunity to escape and choose the familiar but constricting life she knows.

Q4. What are the signs of Eveline’s indecision that we see as the hour of her departure with Frank neared?

Long Answer:
As the hour of Eveline's departure with Frank neared in "Eveline," there are several signs that indicate her indecision and internal conflict:

Physical Symptoms: Eveline experiences physical symptoms of her indecision. Her heart is described as "beating quickly and quietly" and later as "fluttering" and "palpitating." These physical sensations reflect her inner turmoil and the conflicting emotions she is grappling with.

Hesitation and Delay: Eveline shows signs of hesitation and delay when it comes to leaving. She repeatedly questions whether she has made the right decision, going back and forth in her mind. She feels a sense of being pulled in different directions, torn between the desire for freedom and the fear of the unknown.

Reviewing Familiar Objects: As the hour of departure approaches, Eveline reviews familiar objects in her home. This act of contemplation indicates her reluctance to let go of the familiar and the ties she has with her family. She becomes emotionally attached to the memories associated with these objects, causing her to question her decision and the potential loss she might experience.

Overwhelming Memories: Eveline is flooded with memories, particularly memories of her deceased mother and her childhood. These memories evoke strong emotions and create a sense of nostalgia, making it even harder for Eveline to leave behind the known and venture into the uncertain.

These signs of indecision and internal conflict highlight Eveline's struggle as she faces the imminent departure with Frank. Her wavering emotions and hesitation ultimately contribute to her final decision not to leave, underscoring the depth of her internal turmoil.

Short Answer:
As the hour of departure with Frank approached in "Eveline," signs of Eveline's indecision became evident. She experienced physical symptoms such as a racing heart and hesitation. She hesitated and questioned her decision, reviewing familiar objects and being overwhelmed by memories. These signs of internal conflict ultimately led to her final decision not to leave.

Talking about the Text

1. Deciding between filial duty and the right to personal happiness is problematic. Discuss.

In "Eveline," the conflict between filial duty and the pursuit of personal happiness serves as a central theme. Eveline grapples with the societal expectations and familial responsibilities that bind her to Dublin, while also yearning for personal freedom and the chance to create a better life for herself.

On one hand, Eveline feels a strong sense of duty towards her family, especially her father and younger siblings. She believes it is her responsibility to care for them and fears abandoning them in their difficult circumstances. The weight of these obligations, coupled with societal norms and expectations, creates a powerful force that pulls her towards staying.

On the other hand, Eveline desires personal happiness and longs for a life free from the constraints and hardships she faces in Dublin. Frank represents a path to that happiness, promising adventure and a fresh start in Buenos Aires. However, embracing this opportunity means leaving behind her family and the life she has always known, which triggers feelings of guilt and conflict.

The story presents the problematic nature of this decision. Eveline is torn between her duty to her family and her right to pursue her own happiness. It highlights the tension between personal desires and societal expectations, between fulfilling one's own dreams and fulfilling the expectations placed upon an individual within a family and community.

Ultimately, Eveline's choice to prioritize her filial duty over her personal happiness reflects the societal pressures and limited options faced by women in early 20th-century Dublin. The story portrays the sacrifices individuals, particularly women, sometimes have to make due to societal constraints and the difficulty of reconciling personal aspirations with familial obligations.

2. Share with your partner any instance of your personal experience where you, or somebody you know, had to make a difficult choice.

One instance where someone had to make a difficult choice is found in the story "The Lady or the Tiger?" by Frank R. Stockton. In the story, a young man is put on trial and brought before a king who uses a unique form of justice. Behind two identical doors in an arena, there is either a beautiful woman (whom the young man loves) or a fierce tiger. The young man must choose one of the doors, and his fate will be determined by what lies behind it.

The difficult choice arises when the young man's lover, a princess, knows the secret of which door hides the tiger and which holds the lady. She is torn between her love for the young man and her jealousy, as he may end up with another woman if he chooses the door concealing the lady. The story leaves the ending ambiguous, leaving the choice up to the reader's interpretation.

The difficult choice faced by the princess exemplifies the internal conflict between love and jealousy. She must decide whether to guide her lover towards potential death by choosing the door with the tiger or towards a potential life with another woman by indicating the door with the lady. The story explores the complexities of decision-making and the moral dilemmas faced when emotions collide with the responsibility to make life-altering choices.

Appreciation

1. The description in this story has symbolic touches. What do you think the ‘window’, the ‘gathering dusk’, the ‘dusty cretonne and its odour’ symbolise?

ANSWER:
In "Eveline," the descriptions of the window, the gathering dusk, and the dusty cretonne with its odour carry symbolic significance, representing different aspects of Eveline's life and the choices she faces:

1. The Window: The window in the story symbolizes opportunity and escape. It represents the possibility of a new life, freedom from the constraints of her current circumstances, and a way to break free from the oppressive environment she finds herself in. The window serves as a portal to a different world and represents the chance for Eveline to embark on a new journey.

2. The Gathering Dusk: The reference to the gathering dusk signifies a sense of transition, uncertainty, and the fleeting nature of time. Dusk is a liminal period between day and night, symbolizing the critical moment Eveline finds herself in—standing at the threshold of a life-altering decision. It reflects the fleeting nature of the opportunity before her and the urgency of her choice.

3. The Dusty Cretonne and Its Odor: The dusty cretonne with its odour represents the stagnation and decay of Eveline's current life. It signifies the mundane and suffocating aspects of her existence in Dublin, emphasizing the dreariness, dustiness, and lack of freshness in her surroundings. The odour may symbolize the musty and stifling atmosphere that pervades her home, representing the weight of her past and the inertia that keeps her from embracing change.

These symbolic touches in the story help convey the themes of escape, decision-making, and the juxtaposition of freedom and confinement. They provide deeper layers of meaning to Eveline's internal struggles and the choices she must confront.

2. Note how the narrative proceeds through the consciousness of Eveline.

ANSWER:
The narrative in "Eveline" proceeds through the consciousness of Eveline, employing a stream-of-consciousness technique that allows readers to delve into her thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. This narrative style provides insights into Eveline's inner world, her internal conflicts, and the complexities of her decision-making process.

The story unfolds from Eveline's perspective, offering a glimpse into her mind as she contemplates her circumstances and the choices before her. It delves into her memories, desires, fears, and doubts, allowing readers to intimately experience her thought process and the shifting nature of her emotions.

Throughout the story, readers are immersed in Eveline's stream of consciousness, which often involves fragmented thoughts, associations, and vivid sensory impressions. The narrative weaves seamlessly between present experiences, recollections of the past, and anticipations of the future, mirroring the non-linear nature of human thought.

By adopting Eveline's consciousness as the narrative guide, James Joyce provides readers with a deeper understanding of her internal struggles, her motivations, and the factors that shape her decision. This narrative technique creates a sense of immediacy and intimacy, enabling readers to empathize with Eveline's dilemmas and engage with the complexities of her character.

3. In the last section of the story, notice these expressions

(i) A bell clanged upon her heart.

(ii) AlI the seas of the world tumbled upon her heart.

(iii) Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy.

(iv) She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal.

What are the emotions that these images evoke? 

ANSWER:

The expressions in the last section of "Eveline" evoke a range of intense emotions, providing insight into Eveline's state of mind and the turmoil she experiences. Let's examine the emotions these images evoke:

(i) "A bell clanged upon her heart": This image suggests a sudden, jarring impact that reverberates through Eveline. It conveys a sense of shock, a realization that something significant is happening or about to happen. The clanging bell upon her heart evokes fear, anticipation, and a heightened awareness of the weight of her decision.

(ii) "All the seas of the world tumbled upon her heart": This expression amplifies the magnitude of Eveline's emotional turmoil. The imagery of the seas tumbling upon her heart conveys overwhelming emotions, such as intense anxiety, a feeling of being submerged or drowned by her conflicting emotions, and the weight of the world's troubles pressing down upon her.

(iii) "Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy": This image suggests a desperate and frantic grip. Eveline's hands clutching the iron symbolize her desperation to hold on to something familiar and secure. It reflects her heightened state of agitation as if she is desperately searching for stability and grounding amidst the chaos of her emotions.

(iv) "She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal": This image portrays Eveline's surrender and vulnerability. Her white face and passive demeanour reflect resignation and a sense of powerlessness. The comparison to a helpless animal evokes a mix of emotions, including fear, dependency, and a sense of being trapped or cornered.

Overall, these images evoke emotions such as fear, anticipation, overwhelm, desperation, resignation, and vulnerability. They contribute to the intense atmosphere and the inner turmoil Eveline experiences as she confronts the weight of her decision and its potential consequences.

4. Do you think the author indicates his judgement of Eveline in the story?

ANSWER:

In "Eveline," James Joyce presents Eveline's inner struggles and conflicting emotions without explicitly indicating his judgment of her. The narrative allows readers to delve into Eveline's consciousness, providing a glimpse into her thoughts, memories, and desires. Through this intimate perspective, Joyce invites readers to empathize with Eveline's complex situation and the difficult choices she faces.

By presenting Eveline's internal conflicts and her eventual decision to stay, Joyce sheds light on the societal and familial pressures that can limit an individual's agency and ability to pursue personal happiness. The story examines the themes of duty, fear, paralysis, and the struggles faced by women in early 20th-century Dublin.

Overall, James Joyce's approach in "Eveline" allows readers to form their own interpretations and judgments of Eveline's character and choices. It encourages contemplation and empathy rather than imposing a definitive authorial judgment.

Language Work

A. Grammar: Parallelism 

Task

Underline the parts that are parallel in the following sentences
  • She had consented to go away, to leave her home.
  • Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could. 
  • She prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty.
  • Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms.
  • Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne.
  • Not long before, when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a ghost story and made toast for her at the fire.
ANSWER:
  • She had consented to go away, to leave her home.
  • Strange that it should come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could.
  • She prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty.
  • Frank would take her in his arms, [fold her in his arms].
  • Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne.
  • Not long before, when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a ghost story and made toast for her at the fire.

B. Pronunciation

TASK
Mark the stressed syllables in the following words chosen from the lesson. Consult the dictionary or ask the teacher if necessary.
  1. photograph 
  2. escape 
  3. changes
  4. threaten 
  5. excitement 
  6. farewell
  7. illumined 
  8. sailor 
  9. sacrifice
  10. invariable

 ANSWER:

  1. Photograph: PHO-to-graph (stress on the second syllable)
  2. Escape: es-CAPE (stress on the second syllable)
  3. Changes: CHAN-ges (stress on the first syllable)
  4. Threaten: THREAten (stress on the second syllable)
  5. Excitement: ex-CITE-ment (stress on the second syllable)
  6. Farewell: fare-WELL (stress on the second syllable)
  7. Illumined: iL-LU-mined (stress on the second syllable)
  8. Sailor: SAIL-or (stress on the first syllable)
  9. Sacrifice: SAC-ri-fice (stress on the first syllable)
  10. Invariable: in-VAR-i-able (stress on the second syllable)

Suggested Reading 

Read Online for free: Dubliners by James Joyce







Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Plot Overview of the novel Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway

PLOT OVERVIEW
The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. So conspicuously unlucky is he that the parents of his young, devoted apprentice and friend, Manolin, have forced the boy to leave the old man in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. Nevertheless, the boy continues to care for the old man upon his return each night. He helps the old man tote his gear to his ramshackle hut, secures food for him, and discusses the latest developments in American baseball, especially the trials of the old man’s hero, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago is confident that his unproductive streak will soon come to an end, and he resolves to sail out farther than usual the following day.
On the eighty-fifth day of his unlucky streak, Santiago does as promised, sailing his skiff far beyond the island’s shallow coastal waters and venturing into the Gulf Stream. He prepares his lines and drops them. At noon, a big fish, which he knows is a marlin, takes the bait that Santiago has placed one hundred fathoms deep in the waters. The old man expertly hooks the fish, but he cannot pull it in. Instead, the fish begins to pull the boat.
Unable to tie the line fast to the boat for fear the fish would snap a taut line, the old man bears the strain of the line with his shoulders, back, and hands, ready to give slack should the marlin make a run. The fish pulls the boat all through the day, through the night, through another day, and through another night. It swims steadily northwest until at last it tires and swims east with the current. The entire time, Santiago endures constant pain from the fishing line. Whenever the fish lunges, leaps, or makes a dash for freedom, the cord cuts Santiago badly. Although wounded and weary, the old man feels a deep empathy and admiration for the marlin, his brother in suffering, strength, and resolve.
On the third day the fish tires, and Santiago, sleep-deprived, aching, and nearly delirious, manages to pull the marlin in close enough to kill it with a harpoon thrust. Dead beside the skiff, the marlin is the largest Santiago has ever seen. He lashes it to his boat, raises the small mast, and sets sail for home. While Santiago is excited by the price that the marlin will bring at market, he is more concerned that the people who will eat the fish are unworthy of its greatness.
As Santiago sails on with the fish, the marlin’s blood leaves a trail in the water and attracts sharks. The first to attack is a great mako shark, which Santiago manages to slay with the harpoon. In the struggle, the old man loses the harpoon and lengths of valuable rope, which leaves him vulnerable to other shark attacks. The old man fights off the successive vicious predators as best he can, stabbing at them with a crude spear he makes by lashing a knife to an oar, and even clubbing them with the boat’s tiller. Although he kills several sharks, more and more appear, and by the time night falls, Santiago’s continued fight against the scavengers is useless. They devour the marlin’s precious meat, leaving only skeleton, head, and tail. Santiago chastises himself for going “out too far,” and for sacrificing his great and worthy opponent. He arrives home before daybreak, stumbles back to his shack, and sleeps very deeply.


The next morning, a crowd of amazed fishermen gathers around the skeletal carcass of the fish, which is still lashed to the boat. Knowing nothing of the old man’s struggle, tourists at a nearby cafĂ© observe the remains of the giant marlin and mistake it for a shark. Manolin, who has been worried sick over the old man’s absence, is moved to tears when he finds Santiago safe in his bed. The boy fetches the old man some coffee and the daily papers with the baseball scores, and watches him sleep. When the old man wakes, the two agree to fish as partners once more. The old man returns to sleep and dreams his usual dream of lions at play on the beaches of Africa.

Themes in the novel Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway

THEMES
THE HONOR IN STRUGGLE, DEFEAT & DEATH
From the very first paragraph, Santiago is characterized as someone struggling against defeat. He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish—he will soon pass his own record of eighty-seven days. Almost as a reminder of Santiago’s struggle, the sail of his skiff resembles “the flag of permanent defeat.” But the old man refuses defeat at every turn: he resolves to sail out beyond the other fishermen to where the biggest fish promise to be. He lands the marlin, tying his record of eighty-seven days after a brutal three-day fight, and he continues to ward off sharks from stealing his prey, even though he knows the battle is useless.
Because Santiago is pitted against the creatures of the sea, some readers choose to view the tale as a chronicle of man’s battle against the natural world, but the novella is, more accurately, the story of man’s place within nature. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honor, and bravery, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed. As Santiago reflects when he watches the weary warbler fly toward shore, where it will inevitably meet the hawk, the world is filled with predators, and no living thing can escape the inevitable struggle that will lead to its death. Santiago lives according to his own observation: “man is not made for defeat . . . [a] man can be destroyed but not defeated.” In Hemingway’s portrait of the world, death is inevitable, but the best men (and animals) will nonetheless refuse to give in to its power. Accordingly, man and fish will struggle to the death, just as hungry sharks will lay waste to an old man’s trophy catch.
The novel suggests that it is possible to transcend this natural law. In fact, the very inevitability of destruction creates the terms that allow a worthy man or beast to transcend it. It is precisely through the effort to battle the inevitable that a man can prove himself. Indeed, a man can prove this determination over and over through the worthiness of the opponents he chooses to face. Santiago finds the marlin worthy of a fight, just as he once found “the great negro of Cienfuegos” worthy. His admiration for these opponents brings love and respect into an equation with death, as their destruction becomes a point of honor and bravery that confirms Santiago’s heroic qualities. One might characterize the equation as the working out of the statement “Because I love you, I have to kill you.” Alternately, one might draw a parallel to the poet John Keats and his insistence that beauty can only be comprehended in the moment before death, as beauty bows to destruction. Santiago, though destroyed at the end of the novella, is never defeated. Instead, he emerges as a hero. Santiago’s struggle does not enable him to change man’s place in the world. Rather, it enables him to meet his most dignified destiny.
PRIDE AS THE SOURCE OF GREATNESS & DETERMINATION
Many parallels exist between Santiago and the classic heroes of the ancient world. In addition to exhibiting terrific strength, bravery, and moral certainty, those heroes usually possess a tragic flaw—a quality that, though admirable, leads to their eventual downfall. If pride is Santiago’s fatal flaw, he is keenly aware of it. After sharks have destroyed the marlin, the old man apologizes again and again to his worthy opponent. He has ruined them both, he concedes, by sailing beyond the usual boundaries of fishermen. Indeed, his last word on the subject comes when he asks himself the reason for his undoing and decides, “Nothing . . . I went out too far.”
While it is certainly true that Santiago’s eighty-four-day run of bad luck is an affront to his pride as a masterful fisherman, and that his attempt to bear out his skills by sailing far into the gulf waters leads to disaster, Hemingway does not condemn his protagonist for being full of pride. On the contrary, Santiago stands as proof that pride motivates men to greatness. Because the old man acknowledges that he killed the mighty marlin largely out of pride, and because his capture of the marlin leads in turn to his heroic transcendence of defeat, pride becomes the source of Santiago’s greatest strength. Without a ferocious sense of pride, that battle would never have been fought, or more likely, it would have been abandoned before the end.


Santiago’s pride also motivates his desire to transcend the destructive forces of nature. Throughout the novel, no matter how baleful his circumstances become, the old man exhibits an unflagging determination to catch the marlin and bring it to shore. When the first shark arrives, Santiago’s resolve is mentioned twice in the space of just a few paragraphs. First we are told that the old man “was full of resolution but he had little hope.” Then, sentences later, the narrator says, “He hit [the shark] without hope but with resolution.” The old man meets every challenge with the same unwavering determination: he is willing to die in order to bring in the marlin, and he is willing to die in order to battle the feeding sharks. It is this conscious decision to act, to fight, to never give up that enables Santiago to avoid defeat. Although he returns to Havana without the trophy of his long battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway seems to suggest that victory is not a prerequisite for honor. Instead, glory depends upon one having the pride to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if the old man had returned with the marlin intact, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been short-lived. The glory and honor Santiago accrues comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and determination to fight.

Character sketch of Santiago - Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway

From the very first paragraph, Santiago is characterized as someone struggling against defeat. He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish—he will soon pass his own record of eighty-seven days. Almost as a reminder of Santiago’s struggle, the sail of his skiff resembles “the flag of permanent defeat.” But the old man refuses defeat at every turn: he resolves to sail out beyond the other fishermen to where the biggest fish promise to be. He lands the marlin, tying his record of eighty-seven days after a brutal three-day fight, and he continues to ward off sharks from stealing his prey, even though he knows the battle is useless.
Because Santiago is pitted against the creatures of the sea, some readers choose to view the tale as a chronicle of man’s battle againstthe natural world, but the novella  is, more accurately, the story of man’s place within nature. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honor, and bravery, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed. As Santiago reflects when he watches the weary warbler fly toward shore, where it will inevitably meet the hawk, the world is filled with predators, and no living thing can escape the inevitable struggle that will lead to its death. Santiago lives according to his own observation: “man is not made for defeat . . . [a] man can be destroyed but not defeated.” In Hemingway’s portrait of the world, death is inevitable, but the best men (and animals) will nonetheless refuse to give in to its power. Accordingly, man and fish will struggle to the death, just as hungry sharks will lay waste to an old man’s trophy catch.
The novel suggests that it is possible to transcend this natural law. In fact, the very inevitability of destruction creates the terms that allow a worthy man or beast to transcend it. It is precisely through the effort to battle the inevitable that a man can prove himself. Indeed, a man can prove this determination over and over through the worthiness of the opponents he chooses to face. Santiago finds the marlin worthy of a fight, just as he once found “the great negro of Cienfuegos” worthy. His admiration for these opponents brings love and respect into an equation with death, as their destruction becomes a point of honor and bravery that confirms Santiago’s heroic qualities. One might characterize the equation as the working out of the statement “Because I love you, I have to kill you.” Alternately, one might draw a parallel to the poet John Keats and his insistence that beauty can only be comprehended in the moment before death, as beauty bows to destruction. Santiago, though destroyed at the end of the novella, is never defeated. Instead, he emerges as a hero. Santiago’s struggle does not enable him to change man’s place in the world. Rather, it enables him to meet his most dignified destiny.
PRIDE AS THE SOURCE OF GREATNESS & DETERMINATION
Many parallels exist between Santiago and the classic heroes of the ancient world. In addition to exhibiting terrific strength, bravery, and moral certainty, those heroes usually possess a tragic flaw—a quality that, though admirable, leads to their eventual downfall. If pride is Santiago’s fatal flaw, he is keenly aware of it. After sharks have destroyed the marlin, the old man apologizes again and again to his worthy opponent. He has ruined them both, he concedes, by sailing beyond the usual boundaries of fishermen. Indeed, his last word on the subject comes when he asks himself the reason for his undoing and decides, “Nothing . . . I went out too far.”
While it is certainly true that Santiago’s eighty-four-day run of bad luck is an affront to his pride as a masterful fisherman, and that his attempt to bear out his skills by sailing far into the gulf waters leads to disaster, Hemingway does not condemn his protagonist for being full of pride. On the contrary, Santiago stands as proof that pride motivates men to greatness. Because the old man acknowledges that he killed the mighty marlin largely out of pride, and because his capture of the marlin leads in turn to his heroic transcendence of defeat, pride becomes the source of Santiago’s greatest strength. Without a ferocious sense of pride, that battle would never have been fought, or more likely, it would have been abandoned before the end.
Santiago’s pride also motivates his desire to transcend the destructive forces of nature. Throughout the novel, no matter how baleful his circumstances become, the old man exhibits an unflagging determination to catch the marlin and bring it to shore. When the first shark arrives, Santiago’s resolve is mentioned twice in the space of just a few paragraphs. First we are told that the old man “was full of resolution but he had little hope.” Then, sentences later, the narrator says, “He hit [the shark] without hope but with resolution.” The old man meets every challenge with the same unwavering determination: he is willing to die in order to bring in the marlin, and he is willing to die in order to battle the feeding sharks. It is this conscious decision to act, to fight, to never give up that enables Santiago to avoid defeat. Although he returns to Havana without the trophy of his long battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway seems to suggest that victory is not a prerequisite for honor. Instead, glory depends upon one having the pride to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if the old man had returned with the marlin intact, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been short-lived. The glory and honor Santiago accrues comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and determination to fight.