Ernest Hemingway, born in 1899, was an American author and journalist. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatement, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and public image. He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. Many of his works are classics of American literature. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non- fiction works. His three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously.
The Old Man and the Sea was an enormous success for Ernest Hemingway when it was published in 1952. It helped to revive Hemingway’s reputation as a writer of great acclaim and caliber. This slim volume also contributed hugely to Hemingway’s recognition as a world- renowned writer –with the award of the Nobel Prize for literature. The popular reception of the novel comes from its part-parable, part-eulogy style — recollecting a by-gone age in this spiritual quest for discovery. Touching and powerful in turns, the story is told in Hemingway’s simple, brittle style. The book reaches out to a very human need–for stability and certainty. At first glance, the story of the novel appears to be an extremely simple story of an old Cuban fisherman (Santiago), who catches a large fish and then loses it again. But, there is much more to the story than that…
Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea in an inspired eight weeks in 1951. It was not a long novel, running just a little more than 100 pages. But it carried more than its weight. The novel, Hemingway’s last major work, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953. It contributed to Hemingway receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. And it soon entered the American literary canon and became a staple in classrooms across the United States and beyond. A good 60 years later, the novel still captures our imagination, and here lies the top secret of its outstanding success.
This paper is a multi-dimensional study and re-interpretation of the major themes of The Old Man and the Sea – one of Ernest Hemingway’s enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is a story about an Old Cuban fisherman who struggles in the most difficult part of his life – down on his luck and his supreme ordeal – a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Despite of a short and simple work, it is not only filled with drama but with the idea that a simple man is capable of overcoming the struggles in life. Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Santiago, the main character in the novel, is depicted by Hemmingway as a person who is looking deep within to summon the decency, dignity and heroism which are necessary to get through the triumph and tragedies that life presents. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novel confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago is an old man, and many are starting to think that he can no longer fish. He has gone for many months without landing any kind of fish to speak of; and his apprentice, a young man named Manolin, has gone to work for a more prosperous boat. The fisherman sets out into the open sea and goes a little further out than he normally would in his desperation to catch a fish. At noon, a big Marlin takes hold of one of the lines, but the fish is far too big for him to handle.
Hemingway pays great attention to the skill and dexterity that Santiago uses in coping with the fish. Santiago lets the fish have enough line, so that it won’t break his pole; but he and his boat are dragged out to sea for three days. Finally, the fish, an enormous and worthy opponent, grows tired; and Santiago kills it. Even this final victory does not end the Santiago’s journey; he is a still far, far out to sea. To make matters worse, Santiago drags the Marlin behind the boat and the blood from the dead fish attracts sharks.
Santiago does his best to beat the sharks away, but his efforts are not enough. The sharks eat the flesh off the Marlin, and Santiago is left with only the bones. Santiago gets back to shore, weary and tired with nothing to show for his pains but the skeletal remains of a large Marlin. Even with just the bare remains of the fish, the experience has changed him, and altered the perception others have of him. Manolin wakes him the morning after his return and suggests that they once more fish together.
The Plot of the Novel
This particular novel is rich with symbolism and life lessons that are timeless and
relevant today. The plot of the story is quite basic, but the character analysis reveals much deeper insights. For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. So strikingly 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. On the eighty-fifth day he decides to sail far into the Gulf Stream past where most fishermen would dare venture alone. 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 great fish pulls the boat for two straight days. 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 is able to kill him with his harpoon. He lashes it to the side of the boat and begins the long journey home.
As Santiago navigates toward his destination, 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, which leaves him vulnerable to more shark attacks. The vicious predator sharks continuously attack Santiago’s trophy and despite killing several of the sharks, his battle became ultimately hopeless. He fights a gallant fight, revealing man’s finest qualities of bravery, confidence, courage, patience, optimism, and intelligence during the struggle.
The scavengers 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 valuable 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. Manolin, who had been worried about 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 awakens, 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.
Thematic Analysis of the Novel
Hemingway’s literary genius came to be moulded by his personal experiences in life. He,
as a writer, is the product of his personality engineered under various stresses and storms, the adverse vicissitudes of his life, the emotional conflicts of his parents, personal injury in school, the experience of the seamy side of life as crime reporter, the war experiences involving pain and death, the wounds that he himself had in the war-fields, the killing of the bulls in the bull fighting rings and other such experience shaped his personality (Som Deva, p.11). He took for his themes some of the central experiences of his own generation and the generation that followed, which were bred in an age of devastating war and violence, when the traditional values were disrupted and the meaning of existence obscured for many people. To this kind of world Hemingway brought his own vision (Ramji Lall, p.18).
Against the backdrop of Hemingway’s experiences of life and their overall estimation one can easily find that sadness, resignation and the inevitability of death permeate the pages of this brilliant novel. But it is grace under pressure in the face of overwhelming odds that is the true and striking message Hemingway leaves with the readers. There is no avoiding death, but the critical test of mankind is how a man lives his life and how he endures the drastic sufferings and exhausting pains that are inflicted upon him. This distinct and pivotal idea constitutes the firm background of major thematic philosophies of the novel. There are, however, other related aspects to be minutely scrutinized. They are as follow:
- Aspects of Manliness in the Old Man and the Sea
- a. Santiago, a man of heroic proportions
Two themes in The Old Man and the Sea summarize Hemingway’s personal belief in
struggle and the necessity of having heroes as you get older. The first theme swarms around Santiago, an older Cuban fisherman seeking to redeem the fading areas of his life through a phenomenal catch in the Gulf Stream. Written in the “deep-creased scars” on Santiago’s hands is not only the language of heavy fish on rope cords but also the tale of an inspiring hero. Santiago becomes the hero of his own story when his catching an 18-foot marlin becomes synonymous with recovering the reins of possibility in his life.
Throughout the novel, Santiago is given heroic proportions. He is “a strange old man,” still powerful and still wise in all the ways of his trade. After he hooks the great marlin, he fights him with epic skill and endurance, showing “what a man can do and what a man endures”. And when the sharks come, he is determined to fight them until he dies, because he knows that “a man is not made for defeat. . . . A man can be destroyed but not defeated”.
Beyond the heroic individualism of Santiago’s struggle with the great fish and his fight against the sharks, however, and beyond the love and the brotherhood which he comes to feel for the noble creature he must kill, there is a further dimension in the old man’s experience which gives to these their ultimate significance. For in killing the great marlin and in losing him to the sharks, the old man learns the sin into which men inevitably fall by going far out be- yond their depth, beyond their true place in life. In the first night of his struggle with the great fish, the old man begins to feel loneliness and a sense almost of guilt for the way in which he has caught him;
and after he has killed the marlin, he feels no pride of accomplishment, no sense of victory. Rather, he seems to feel almost as though he has betrayed the great fish; “I am only better than him through trickery,” he thinks, “and he meant me no harm“. Thus, when the sharks come, it is almost as a thing expected, almost as a punishment which the old man brings upon himself in going far out “beyond all people, beyond all people in the world“. For the coming of the sharks is not a matter of chance nor a stroke of bad luck; “the shark was not an accident“. They are the direct result of the old man’s action in killing the fish. He has driven his harpoon deep into the marlin’s heart, and the blood of the great fish, welling from his heart, leaves a trail of scent which the first shark follows. He tears huge pieces from the marlin’s body, causing more blood to seep into the sea and thus attract other sharks; and in killing the first shark, the old man loses his principal weapon, his harpoon. Thus, in winning his struggle with the marlin and in killing him, the old man sets in motion the sequence of events which take from him the great fish whom he has come to love and with whom he identifies himself completely.
- b. A man is not made for defeat.
Santiago has nothing but a broken-down shed and a rickety skiff with a sail that is
“patched with flour sacks” and looks “like the flag of permanent defeat.” The skin of his gaunt body illustrates his hardships and is marked with deeply-set wrinkles, scars, and blotches from the punishing sun. And because of his terrible misfortune, he is a pariah in his small fishing village.
But while nearly “everything about Santiago is old,” his eyes remain “the same color as the sea and are cheerful and undefeated.” Instead of throwing in the towel after 84 days of terrible luck, he sails farther out into the Gulf than he has gone before.
A man continues to do whatever he must do to the best of his ability, no matter what tribulations befall him. While challenges and setbacks can strip a man of all outward signs of success, still his spirit can remain undefeated. For it can will a man to never give up and to keep on trying.
Or as Hemingway puts it: “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
- c. A man does not depend on luck.
Luck plays a major role in the story and in our everyday lives, and to a superstitious lot
like fishermen, poor luck can seem paralyzing. In Santiago’s little Cuban fishing village he is labeled “salao, which is the worst form of unlucky,” after having gone eighty-four days without taking a single fish.
This makes him an outsider among his peers, and it costs him his trusty partner, the boy Manolin, whose parents forbid him from fishing with the old man. While Santiago deals with the suffering of being hungry and poor, other boats from his village continue pulling in good fish every day.
Anyone can have luck of course, but not everyone one can have determination, skill, and perseverance. Santiago knows this and therefore believes in his ability rather than chance. “To hell with luck,” he thinks. “I’ll bring the luck with me.”
He does this by not taking any shortcuts in his work. He keeps his fishing lines straighter than anyone, and he makes sure that, “at each level…there [will] be a bait waiting exactly where he wishes it to be for any fish that swim there.” Santiago keeps his lines with precision, and he is ready for whatever comes.
We cannot attain success simply by waiting for good things to happen. It is when we strive forward towards a goal that we open ourselves up to opportunity. As Santiago muses, “It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when the luck comes you are ready.”
- d. A man bears pain and hardship without complaint.
“He was shivering with the morning cold. But he knew he would shiver himself warm and
that soon he would be rowing.”
Whether it’s something as trivial as being cold or as significant as skirting along the borders of death, a man simply does what must be done, without self-pity and without complaint. Santiago does not whine about hunger pains or thirst, nor does he mope about the fishing line that cuts into his hands.
Out at sea, far beyond the other boats, Santiago is presented with the greatest challenge of his life. It comes in the form of an eighteen-foot marlin and makes for a long, long battle that spans days. Near the edge of his exhaustion, Santiago’s hand is cut deeply and cramps up “as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle.” He washes the cut in the salt water and lets it dry and warm in the sun. But the hand refuses him and he is forced to work with his right hand alone, against the powerful fish that is two feet longer than his own skiff. Drained, Santiago “settles against the wood” and simply “takes his suffering as it comes. He is comfortable but suffering, although he does not admit the suffering at all.”
- e. A man does not boast.
The quality of a man is best seen through his actions, and developing humility is a key
ingredient in letting our actions do the talking for us. Santiago is given plenty opportunity to boast during a conversation with his young friend, Manolin, but he does not.
Manolin asks, “Who is the greatest manager, really, Luque or Mike Gonzalez?” “I think they are equal.”
“And the best fisherman is you.” “No. I know others better.”
“Que va,” the boy says, “There are many good fishermen and some great ones, but there is only you.”
“Thank you. You make me happy. I hope no fish will come along so great that he will prove us wrong.”
And it’s only because of Santiago’s determination that none do. Boasting only briefly satisfies insecurity. It leaves no lasting impression on the crowd who hears it.
- Aspects of Man’s Endurances against Nature and His Objective Attitude to Life in the Old Man and the Sea
- Man’s crossing limits and his bearing subsequent consequences
As Santiago is returning with his catch, a number of sharks attack it. He starts fighting the
sharks. They eat up the Marlin. The old man thinks of his mistake time and again and ultimately concludes that he failed because he went too far. “Going too far” symbolizes the crossing of limits in his struggle against nature. When the old man comes on the shore the entire fish has been eaten up.
In the struggle between man and nature as depicted in the novel there is an exceptional grace and an honest realization of crossing limits. The inherent theme is man’s endurance against nature. In the struggle between man and nature the former does not wish to yield and the latter can evade all attempts to vanquish it. Man would always be a minor player in his fights against nature, particularly when he wants to destroy it. However nature has been treated as friendly and affectionate besides being cruel at times. The old man catches the Marlin and also kills it but there does not seem to exist a sense of hostility between them. Nature is treated as benevolent, respectable and friendly. The hero is quite aware that he has gone too far
in his struggle against nature. He kills the fish gracefully. There is always a sense of dignity in his struggle.
- Man’s exhibition of grace under pressure
It is true that no man is an island. However, in facing circumstances such as problems, it
is usually the man alone who will face it. It must be face with determination, grit and courage. Alone in the sea, Santiago continuously struggles to find hope in several seemingly hopeless situations and even chooses to battle ‘till the end. The Old Man epitomizes Hemingway’s ideal of exhibiting “grace under pressure”, as he refuses to submit himself to the overwhelming hindrances presented by the sea. Santiago often recalls the memories of his youth, the recovery of Joe DiMaggio from injury and the thoughts of the boy, Manolin. In these memories, he finds the strength to physically and emotionally carry on throughout the story. This is the attitude of Santiago that he will not cease struggling until he ends it triumphal and this is really applicable in life as everyone faces his or her own struggles.
Hemingway intends to create a symbol for human existence through the struggles of Santiago. The struggles of Santiago are an opportunity for him to show what a man is and what a man is capable to endure or to do. Santiago symbolizes mankind and he proves that every man has a reserve of unlimited potentials in the face of danger. When he is striving hard to catch the marlin, which is bigger and stronger than him, he showcases his potential to fight to the extent and until the end. The outcome, however, becomes less important than the struggle, which offers a chance to show grace under pressure. As a result, it is not really important that Santiago brings the fish home; the important thing is he struggled to win the battle, and in the struggle he becomes.
- Man’s faith and determination
Santiago, as portrayed by Hemingway, is a man with an unwavering faith. Faith can
generally be defined as a strong belief in something that is beyond proof. Faith may also be a strong conviction or belief in something, like God, religion, doctrine or prophecy. Faith in oneself, and the ability to achieve things not known, is the most important faith of all. If you don’t believe in yourself, then it will be impossible to truly believe in anything else that you cannot see, touch, feel or physically behold (www.lifespy.com). Hemingway introduces Santiago as an old man with the youth and will in his eyes. He intends to present Santiago as a believer in himself. Thus, Santiago still won even he is actually defeated. Faith in God is also presented in the story. It is one of the prime motivating powers that encourage Santiago to set forth yet he is eventually failing. He recited prayers such as Hail Mary, to mean his will to succeed in catching the big marlin.
Santiago also exhibits his pride as he goes along his greatest hurdle. His pride is the source of his greatness and determination. He also has the honour in struggle, defeat and death. 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. It is this conscious decision to act, to fight, to never yield that enables Santiago to avoid defeat. Although he returns to the shore without the trophy of his battle, he returns with the knowledge that he has acquitted himself proudly and manfully. Hemingway does not denounce Santiago for being full of pride. On the contrary, Santiago stands as testimony that pride inspires men to greatness. Because the old man concedes 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 fierce sense of pride, that battle would never have been fought, or would have been forsaken before the end.
- Man’s rooted attitude towards life
It is a seemingly simple story: Santiago is an old, experienced fisherman who hasn’t
brought in a catch for months. On the 85th day of this dry spell, he heads far out into the Gulf of Mexico where he hooks a giant marlin. Unable to pull the fish into his skiff, he holds onto the line for three days before killing it with a harpoon. After lashing the fish to his boat, Santiago heads home with his hard-won prize. But along the way, sharks reduce the fish to bones, and the old man returns to port as he left–empty-handed.
Yes, a simple story on the surface, but also a tale with a much deeper message and a relevance that transcends time and place. It speaks to the universal truths of a man’s existence within this world, where pride, respect, tenacity, and dreams fuel a man in his quest to thrive in the face of struggle. It is a story about the indomitable spirit of man; Santiago stands as a symbol of an attitude toward life, and his fight with the mighty marlin offers numerous lessons to all men.
- Man’s notions for ocean
The main character, Santiago, considers the ocean to be feminine and loves her as if she
was his own wife. The ocean then takes on a distinct personality in his eyes, for he begins to assign different characteristics to her: he calls her kind and very beautiful and he says that if she ever did something wicked or acted cruelly, it was because she simply couldn’t help it. This shows true love: forgiveness despite shortcomings or mistakes. This is genuine, perfect, and unconditional love. Perhaps Hemingway wished to portray a perfect relationship, one with complete acceptance and everlasting love, for this is something that even humans find hard to attain in their relationships with other humans.
The attitude that most of the other fishermen have towards the ocean in which they fish is one of distrust and hate. They think that the mighty ocean is a powerful masculine figure (Hemingway 10), out to trick their fish away from them. They believe that the ocean is their enemy and that they must fight tooth-and-nail for what they choose to take from it. This shows that, even though it is the ocean that keeps them alive, they hold no real love for it. They become cold-blooded men, not wincing to tackle a great fish from within the bowels of the sea.
The rest of the fishermen do not fear or distrust the ocean as their counterparts do. Instead, they love the ocean and try their best to treat it with respect. However, try as they might, they are incapable of achieving the same unconditional love that Santiago has for the ocean, and end up saying bad things about it. This is also love, although not the same type of love that exists between Santiago and the ocean. It is an excellent example of “tough love”, for these fishermen truly love the ocean in their own fashion, but they just can’t take the final step and forgive it for the mistakes that it makes.
It really does seem like the ocean is able to stir up sharply contrasting emotions in different men; she can make some of them love her unconditionally, while making others fear and detest her. Santiago’s relationship with the ocean is one of perfect love and forgiveness, capable of making even humans envious. However, most of the other fishermen are not of the same mind; instead, they fear and hate the ocean. Nevertheless, there are a select few fishermen who, like Santiago, love the ocean but are unable to attain the same level of adoration that Santiago has for it. These are the three different relationships between fishermen and the ocean encountered in Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea.
- Aspects of Man’s Psychological Dynamics in the Old Man and the Sea
- Inter-relationship between man and his environmental concerns
The Old Man and the Sea is primarily a psychological novel. Great chunks of the book
are played out in the old man’s head, and the interrelation between his mind and his environment is explored in exquisite detail. Throughout his ordeal at sea while trying to land a big marlin, Santiago conceives a continual monologue in a battle to impose his will on the world against the invasion of the world on his will. The old man talks to the fish, to the birds, to the sea, to himself, and to no-one in particular, in an effort to manifest his reality and to suppress the reality nature is throwing in his face. He knows that all he must do “is keep the head clear” because that is “all he has left”. When he weakens, he is unsure whether he is reeling in the fish or whether the fish is reeling in him, and he becomes sensitive to “some great strangeness and he could not believe it.” This is the world infiltrating the fortress of his consciousness. But Santiago reminds himself “be calm and strong old man” – he knows he must remain so if he is to not be defeated. Yet it is not the fish which may defeat him, for as Marcus Aurelius wrote, “no evil is according to nature.” Rather, the hero must keep his head because his head is where truth and freedom reside. Many people who have endured unimaginable conditions in concentration camps have attested that their mental freedom is the one thing that cannot be taken away by force – one has to relinquish it. Only then is defeat truly let in through the door.
Perhaps this mental defeat is what happened to Ernest Hemingway, having never quite shaken off the belief that life is inevitably tragic, and having realised that no manufactured set of morals can offer protection. “If a person brings so much courage into the world that the world must kill him to break him, of course it kills him. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those it cannot break it will kill. It kills the very good, the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these things the world will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.”
- Deep feelings of the honor in struggle, and eternal law of defeat and death
“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” ~
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Life is a journey. At the end of every worldly journey, death awaits. That is a certainty. The ending will be the same for everyone who walks this earth. What matters is the course chosen on the voyage through life. The vast sea represents life’s journey, with its ebbs, flows, and storms that must be navigated. In Hemingway’s portrait of the world, death is inevitable, but the finest men will nonetheless refuse to give in to its power. In both the sea and in life, there are a number of possibilities that lie hidden from the common eye; some are gifts to be treasured and some are problems to be defeated. Neither will be found unless man embarks upon the journey. If man is lucky enough to discover a treasure he must fight until death to retain it; if man is unlucky enough to discover an evil lurking underneath the surface of the sea, he must fight it bravely and nobly until the end. In either case, it is the struggle that is all- important, and a man obtains the status of hero if he battles the sea (life) with grace under pressure. The only way to obtain the status of hero is to set sail on the uncertain sea of life.
Winning and losing are not so important in life. It is the honor gained during the struggle that matters much. It’s the legacy we leave for future generations. Did we fight the good fight, or did we sit idly by while life passed by? Did your life mean something to someone? You can stay safely on the shore or you can jump into your skiff and sail into the deep water and conquer your
marlin. Both Santiago and the marlin display qualities of pride, honor, and courage, and both are subject to the same eternal law: they must kill or be killed. As Santiago reflects when he observes the weary warbler fly toward shore, where it will inescapably meet the hawk, the world is filled with marauders, and no living thing can escape the unavoidable struggle that will lead to its demise. Man and fish will struggle to the death, just as ravenous sharks will ravage an old man’s prize catch.
During the thematic exploration, examination and re-interpretation of the novel the
paper has tended to prove that victory is not a requirement for honour. Instead, glory depends upon one having pride and determination to see a struggle through to its end, regardless of the outcome. Even if Santiago had returned with the marlin undamaged, his moment of glory, like the marlin’s meat, would have been unimportant and short-lived. The glory and honour of Santiago comes not from his battle itself but from his pride and grit to fight till the end.
The nobility of human exertion in the face of extreme odds becomes the main idea of this novel. From the very start, Santiago faces every conceivable hurdle – he is aged, unlucky, ill fed and laughingstock of his fellow fishermen. When he sailed, he is also alone in his boat, with nobody to assist him. However, he does not cease striving because of these facts. He always reaches inside himself to find the courage and determination to continue the struggle.
The novel is not a story of just one man called Santiago. It is the story of all people who struggle for the best in life whether he fails or succeeds. Man must believe in himself and in God to have grit and nobility to push through every in hurdle he might undergo. He can use his pride to pursue in every battle. Hence, it is not the winning or the losing that matters; it is how one plays – this is the major theme of The Old Man and The Sea.
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