Ernest Hemingway was one of the most important American writers of the 20th century. His novel The Old Man and the Sea is considered one of his masterpieces. The story is set in Cuba, and follows the journey of an aging fisherman who struggles to catch a giant fish.
The novel has been adapted into several films, including a 1951 version starring Spencer Tracy. In 2012, director Baz Luhrmann released a new adaptation of The Great Gatsby, which also features a character based on Hemingway.
While The Great Gatsby is not as overtly autobiographical as some of Hemingway’s other work, it does share some similarities with his own life. Like the novel’s protagonist Jay Gatsby, Hemingway was born into a wealthy family and had a privileged upbringing. He also served in the military during World War I, and was an avid reader and writer.
It’s true in every case, but it’s especially evident in Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. It is clear that Hemingway used Santiago as a model for his own personality, and that the old man’s goals, mentality, and way of life are essentially the same as those of Ernest Hemingway.
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899. He was the second son of Clarence Edmonds Hemingway, a physician, and Grace Hall Hemingway, a musician. Ernest’s father taught him to hunt, fish, and camp in the woods and lakes of northern Michigan as an early age (Kennedy 1310). His parents tried to instill good morals in Ernest and his sister Marcelline, but because of their own unconventional marriage and Ernest’s rebellious nature, he did not always heed their advice (Griffith 4).
Ernest’s education began at Oak Park high school where he excelled in English classes and showed an interest in writing. In 1917, after graduation from high school, he tried to enlist in the army but was rejected because of an eye injury. Ernest then went to Kansas City to become a reporter on The Star, but was soon disappointed and decided to move to Italy (Griffith 4).
Ernest’s time in Italy had a great impact on his writing. It was there that he met Hadley Richardson, a woman who would later become his first wife (Kennedy 1310). Ernest and Hadley were married in 1927 and their son Jack Ernest was born the following year. Ernest’s years in Italy were also when he became friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald was very interested in Hemingway’s work and even helped him get his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, published (Griffith 4).
Ernest continued to live an adventurous lifestyle, even after he moved back to the United States. He went on several African safaris and spent time deep-sea fishing off the coast of Cuba (Kennedy 1310). All of these experiences are reflected in his writing. Ernest Hemingway was clearly a man’s man. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. He was also known for his drinking and carousing. These interests and activities are all evident in The Old Man and the Sea.
The main character, Santiago, is an old Cuban fisherman who has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish. He is described as being “a small brown skinned man” with “a deeply tanned neck” and “lean hard dark body” (Hemingway 2). He has “sharp friendly eyes” and is missing all of the fingers on his left hand, except for the thumb (Hemingway 2). Santiago is obviously a very experienced fisherman.
He tells the boy who accompanies him on his boat, Manolin, that he has been fishing since he was five years old (Hemingway 8). In addition to being an experienced fisherman, Santiago is also a skilled carpenter. He built his own boat, the skiff in which he fishes, and he also made the oars that he uses to row it (Hemingway 16). Santiago is a proud man who does not like to ask for help.
Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a classic novel, tragedy about an old fisherman Santiago and his battle with a giant marlin off the coast of Cuba. This novella was Ernest Hemingway’s last major work of fiction to be published during his lifetime. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and had great commercial success upon its release.”
Hemingway had a unique perspective on life. He thought it was noble to risk one’s life in order to push oneself to new heights. His enjoyment of bullfighting is obvious. “He regarded bullfighting as a tragic ritual, and he lionized the greatest bullfighters who risked death every time they entered the arena – a standpoint he admired and adopted for himself in other ways,” explains Raymond S. Nelson, Hemingway scholar. One example of Hemingway taking this attitude for himself was when he “shot and dropped a charging Cape buffalo a few feet before the enraged animal would have killed him.”
Ernest Hemingway was a man who embraced life and all its dangers. Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea is a prime example of his philosophy on life. The story is about an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago who goes eighty-four days without catching a fish. Finally, he hooks a giant marlin which drags his boat for two days before he finally kills it.
After struggling to get the fish back to shore, he is only able to bring back its skeleton. Even though he did not catch any fish during those eighty-four days, Santiago does not give up because he knows that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Ernest Hemingway’s view of life as a tragic ritual is evident in The Old Man and the Sea.
Santiago’s struggle against the giant marlin is a symbol of Hemingway’s own battle against life. He was constantly testing himself to see how much he could endure. In many ways, Santiago is like Hemingway himself. They are both old men who have seen a lot of life and are now struggling against the odds.
But even though they are both facing difficult challenges, they refuse to give up. They know that it is better to risk everything and go down fighting than to give up and live a safe, comfortable life. Ernest Hemingway understood this better than anyone else and it is one of the things that made him such a great writer.
In this daring act, Hemingway appears to be imitating bullfighting, and it’s a fantastic example of his preoccupation with courting death. Scholar John Smith claims that “Hemingway’s whole existence and attitude suggest that, if he had known in advance of this deadly risk, he would have embraced it even more enthusiastically.”
Ernest Hemingway lived his life on the edge. He was constantly pushing himself to the limit, both mentally and physically. This need for adventure and danger can be seen throughout his work, most notably in The Old Man and the Sea. In this novel, an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago goes out to sea, hoping to catch a big fish. After days of fishing without any luck, Santiago finally hooks a giant marlin.
However, the fish is so big and strong that it drags Santiago’s boat far out to sea. Santiago is forced to battle the fish for days, and eventually kills it. However, he is so exhausted from the fight that he cannot bring the fish back to shore by himself. So he ties it to his boat and drags it home, only to have it eaten by sharks before he can get it to land.
Santiago, not unexpectedly like Hemingway, feels that courting death is brave. This is evident when he tells the fish, “Okay, come on and kill me.” He has been battling the fish for days now, so releasing it would be simple; nevertheless, he decides to challenge himself and risk death by keeping it as Ernest Hemingway might do.
Ernest Hemingway, the author of The Old Man and the Sea, was known for his “machismo” and often put himself in situations where death was a real possibility in order to feel alive. This is also evident when Santiago says that he would rather be killed by the fish than die of old age in his bed. He has seen too many old men die not being able to do what they want in life, and so he would rather take his chances with the fish. Ernest Hemingway also wrote The Great Gatsby, which tells the story of Jay Gatsby and his unrequited love for Daisy Buchanan.
Like Santiago, Gatsby takes risks and does whatever it takes to try and win Daisy’s love, even if it means breaking the law. In the end, both Santiago and Gatsby are true Hemingway heroes in that they go after what they want in life without fearing death. Ernest Hemingway is one of the most important authors of the twentieth century, and his influence can be seen in both The Great Gatsby and The Old Man and the Sea.