Sunday, July 25, 2010

Discuss the Oldman in the Shack in the novel "The Oldman and the Sea" by Hemingway

Old man is a born fisherman and is as at home in the sea as any fish. He has spent all his life in voyaging and fishing. However, this amphibian lives on land as well. Normally he comes back in the evening, carries his gear to his shack, sometime all by himself, but mostly assisted by the boy, Manolin. His shack made of “the  tough bud-shields of the royal palm” is simply furnished. Besides, a table, and a chair, it has a spring bed covered not with a mattress or foam but with old newspapers.
There are a couple of pictures on Biblical themes as well as “a tinted photograph of his wife”, which remains covered in one corner “under his clean shirt” lest he should feel lonely. He has a fireplace “on the dirt floor to cook with charcoal” but there is nothing in his house to be cooked. He tries to put off the boy by pretending that he has “a pot of yellow rice,” for his supper, but the boy knows too well that the promised “yellow rice and fish” is a dream. Infact they go through “this fiction everyday”. Their conversation centers on baseball and the champion of this game. Dimagio is the favourite hero of the old man. Infact he is competing with Dimagio all the time and turns out to be his equal in fishing. His great feat on the sea is of course as big as any victory of Dimagio.

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