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Chapter I

Earnest Hemingway born in 1899 at Oak Park, Illinois is critically acclaimed as one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. In his short stories and novel Hemingway used the theme of the helplessness and defeat and addressed the theme of the precariousness of existence and the universality of suffering. His strengths are his straight forward, crisp prose, spare dialogue, and the terse minimalist style of writing. In 1952, Hemingway published The old man and the sea, a powerfull novelette about an aged Cuban fisher man, for which he won the 1953 pulitzer prize in fiction. He won the nobel prize for Literature in 1954. Hemingways fiction was successful because the characters he presented exhibit an authenticity that his audience could connect to. He believed that a writers style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. Early in 1951 Hemingway finally began writing The old man and the sea at his home near Havana. The novel does reflect a universal pattern of socio-economic change that families even face today among the developing nations. In rural Cuba of the 1930s and 1940s the traditional fishing culture (insular and isolated from the industrialized world closely connected to nature, before the advent of modern technology, and bound to extended families and tightly knit communities ) began shifting to the material progress of a fishing Industry . In The old man and the sea, Hemingway depicts satingo as a deducted fisherman whose craft is integral to his own identity, his code of behaviours, and natures order. On the other hand, Hemingway portrays the pragmatic younger fishermen as those who supply shark liver for the cod-liver oil industry in the United States, use their profit to purchase motorized boats and other mechanized equipment, and approach their fishing strictly as a means to improve their material circumstances.

When The old man and the sea appeared in 1952, Earnest Heming way had been an international literary celebrity for more than quarter of a century. Where ever people read books and in a good many places where people did not read at all, the very name of Hemingway was a legend. It was a name associated with war and courage, with love and violence, with beauty and death from bullfight arenas in Spain to lumber camps in Canada, from the great capitals of Europe to semitropical villages in Cuba and the Florida keys-- the name Hemingway signified a romance and an ideal for the soldier, the hunter, the fighter, the lover, the disillusioned realist and the doomed romanticist . It meant all of these things and more. Life is a solitary struggle, a long struggle against values, persons, attitudes and sometimes even against life itself. The history of mankind is the history of struggles. The history of man is the continuation of struggles, the struggle for resistance, struggle for freedom, struggle for life and struggle for different type of expectations of life. When an individual goes through the possible course of life, he realizes the futility of his endeavour against the outer and inner forces, which rule the universe without any respect for human endeavour or human aspirations and ideals. If one takes challenge and decides to go against these forces he has to pay the price for it. Literature symbolically presents a struggle, the same life-struggle itself. Literature is the representation of the never ending struggle of mankind. The struggle starts from the very birth of the person. He first struggles to get attention of the totally unfamiliar world. When he grows up, he is engaged with various struggles. Literature presents these struggles, which reveal the large, close and fresh relations of life. Thus literature deals with the great drama of life, action and struggle of mankind. The purpose of literature is to change the society, not to walk along with the rules and regulations of the society.

The struggle and the outcome of the struggle are determinesd by the vision of life sedimented in the work. The decade following the Second World War was especially a

traumatic one which witnessed the crumbling of an old worl order and a new one powerless to be born yet. The post-war decade created a new generation, called the Lost generation'. The 'Lost generation' experienced the trauma of the war, the loss of religious faith, the rapid urbanization which shattered the old institutions of family and marriage, the oncoming world of science which blew up the old myths and superstitions, and the economic depression. All these produced a new social situation. The young sensitive minds found it intolerable to exist, and, indeed many of them decided not to. Their attitude towards life changed. The struggle they experienced in the life created a new vision of life. All this reflected in the literature of the time. Hemingway's acclaimed novel The Old Man and the Sea appeared in 1952. Many of the readers considered it as a tragedy of a poor fisherman in the capitalist world in which he is not prepared to submit to the dollar or to lower his head before the cannon's mouth. While in Cuba in April 1932, Hemingway had discovered the art of fishing, under the guidance of Carlos Gutierrez, who was later named as 'Santiago' -a poor, unlucky, old, Cuban fisherman- and was immortalised by Hemingway in his all time classic The Old Man and the Sea. After getting nothing for 84 days he, on the eighty fourth day, catches a big marlin only to lose it to voracious sharks. He struggles single-handedly against the sharks but succeeds only in bringing the skeleton of the fish leftover, ashore. During the struggle he fights, prays, and invokes the courage of his youth. Though he loses in the end he does not consider himself 'defeated'. Hemingway conveys through Santiago his great philosophy of life that 'a man can he destroyed but not defeated'.

The struggle in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is basically the heroic struggle between the unyielding individual and the forces of the universe. In this struggle, the victory of the forces of the universe is also the victory of the unyielding individual, because this victory leads the individual to the expectations of a fruitful victory in future. The old man begins his journey in darkness, just like from the womb to the unfamiliar world. Santiago can hear the sound of the other boats moving out, but he cannot see them. Hemingway tells us, against the "thrust of the blades in the water". The words "thrust" and "blades" are incisive; they propel the old man forward to face the mighty forces of the universe. He is alone and he knows that he is going far out. The sea, for him, is a life - force operating within his frail body and with which he puts stiff resistance against the hostile waves. Santiago is in love with the sea, even if the sea is not so kind to him. The threatening aspects of the universe have been objectified symbolically. The action, which makes Santiago an enduring hero in his heroic attempt to gain what lies beyond the reach of all, is at the same time, associated with Santiago's supreme gain. Santiago can 'feel and hear' the dawn. The "trembling" of the flying fish quickens the old man's senses to the changing of time. Then, from the feel and sound of the almost -dawn within Santiago, Hemingway takes us even deeper inward. Santiago, boldly facing the forces even in his old age, is eager to overcome the universal powers. Darkness doesnot make him tired. He is the man who retains his youth even in his old age. Santiago is, like many solitary men, philosophic. He ask himself why: why does God permit avoidable suffering to small delicate birds? Why is the ocean capricious and, occasionally cruel-than kind?. The problem of "why the innocent suffer?" is raised here. Perhaps there is no simple answer; at least the suggestion here is that one does not need answers - he needs only faith.

It is the faith that leads man to the future. Santiago is never mentally tired with the past eighty four days' journey. He is hoping for a better future even in his old age. He is ready to break the conventional tiredness of old age. Even if he is lonely and isolated, he never admits failure. The forces that block his way are also the motivating factors that encourage his next journey, obstacles encouraging to achieve a higher aim.

The eighty four days heroic struggle makes the reader believe that Santiago is a failed hero. But Santiago doesn't accept himself as a failed hero. He is the representative of


The diverse elements of life are successfully combined to yield one great life. He

endures his suffering without complaint, and he does not even admit the sufferings at all. The Old Man and the Sea does not seek to portray the evil forces in our times. It does not present a world of emotional impressions, impressions of poverty, squalor, meaninglessness, hopelessness and so on.


In The Old Man and the Sea, man's endurance is pitted against the forces of the sea. The human being is pitted against the forces of the universe. Through a heroic, consistent, unyielding struggle, the individual proves that the unbeatable spirit wins in the end. On the eighty fourth day the old man goes far out in to the sea. He is not at all worried about the past eight three days. He never curses the powers that made him return empty-handed. Santiago waits for a fruitful future. His lines go straight down into water that is a mile deep on the eighty fourth day; his whole being is engaged in his task. Santiago almost begs the fish to swallow the "hard and cold and lovely bait and he prays that God will make the fish take it. The suspense is high as the skiff begins to move slowly off towards the northwest. Santiago has a sympathy and strange

appreciation for the marlin. Marlins, to him, are representatives of truth and of Nature. Santiago connects every creature to nature. No one can exist long without a strong connection with nature. The Old Man and the Sea is told swiftly and smoothly. The conflict is resolved into a struggle between a man and a force which he scarcely comprehends, but which he knows that he must continue to strive against, though knowing too that the struggle must end in defeat. The defeat is only apparent when the novel opens, Santiago is without money to buy proper gear and he fishes in a skiff with heart, as he was in his youth. In the face of misfortune, the old man keeps the will to continue, the courage to bear trouble with dignity and his endurance to survive loneliness and pain, the old man refusing his defeat.After eighty four days of worthless voyage, Santiago is ready for the next. He is never mentally tired. His eyes were the 'same colour' as the

sea and were cheerful and undefeated. His dreams about the future were the results of the fruitful past. He does not consider himself as defeated. Hemingway has presented a fiction that could communicate the experiences with new meanings. His novels are for the upliftment of modern man who accepts his defeat even in front of a small attack by fate. Hemingway was searching for the happiness of common man in the public life and in the life of an individual. A common man must build up courage to fight for his survival and instead of admitting defeat. Though man has no control over his destinations as it is controlled by certain determining forces, he must still fight against them only to be defeated in the end. The novel symbolizes that there is a reason to believe in man's ability to withstand the forces of destruction and failure. He can, even under pressure show grace, courage and fortitude. Santiago, the old man, often feels intimidated by the sea, but ironically, the sea itself becomes a source of courage with which he fights against the giant fish. The sea, for him, is a life - force operating within his frail body and with which he puts stiff resistance against the hostile waves. Santiago is in love with the sea. It is the vastness of the sea that inspires Santiago, to go far with a new hope of success. Santiago starts his voyage without the company of other fishermen. Santiago is journeying now to catch a fish worthy of him. If almost no one else believes in him, he himself does and he is off to catch a great fish because he knows that he can do it. The new day slowly comes alive Santiago rows steadily, keeping well within his speed, by using tricks that he has learned from experience and by letting the current do a third of the work; He finds that he is even further out now than be expected to be by this time.

The fishing begins with a gamble, a belief in luck and institution. Santiago decides to give up his usual fishing in the deep wells; he will fish for Tuna, hoping to catch a big one. The description is exact:"Before it was really lighthe had his baits out andwas drifting with thecurrent. One bait was downforty fathoms. The second was at seventy five and thethird and fourth weredown in the blue waterat one hundred and twenty five fathoms"( 47) Suspense builds up as this experienced and professional old angler watches the dip of the three sticks over the side of the skiff, while he rows steadily and gently, keeping the lines straight up and down at their respective depths. Sunrise comes sharply, with a glare, and wisely, Santiago rows without looking into it. Despite the glare, his lines are straighter and truer than other less skillful fishermen. He equates this precision with which he keeps his lines with his present absence of luck. Yet he never gives up the hope and although it is better to be lucky, Santiago would rather be exact. One of Santiago's habits is talking aloud to himself. This talking aloud is a clever device used by Hemingway to compensate for the absence of Manolin. It also shows the depth of loneliness experienced by Santiago. The old man's conversations express his feelings, thoughts, private dreams and reminiscences in a spontaneous and interesting manner. The old man is now far-out, farther than he has ever fished before. He can no longer see the hill tops. His lines go straight down into water. His whole being is engaged in his task and creates a feeling that his efforts and patience will be rewarded. Santiago maintains an obscure complicity with nature, composed of fear and fascination. Fundamental to Santiago's conception of himself as a strong individualist is his belief that he will uncover truths hidden in Nature. The truth of course is that his enthusiasm resolves nothing of importance: after his failure he is bewildered by the arbitrary and incomprehensible game of

nature. It is the quality of desperate endurance in Santiago's alter-ego that makes him the truly exceptional person endowed with clarity of purpose and strength of character. He even dreams of heroically conquering the evil that enslaves men's souls and attempts to convert the unknown into vague concepts of destiny and monsters perceiving himself as a victim of arbitrary powers. And in order to preserve his own romantic dream he often plunges into liberating adventures to have some kind of distinction of life. Santiago's relation with the sea is not at all innocent. Its multiplicity. constantly involves for him disappointment, rebellion and isolation, though at times it lets his suffering mind

run on images at once of beauty, kindness and destruction. The sea is changeable in its emotions: It can soothe or threaten, or even break out in terrible storms. To Santiago the sea intimates, suggests and excites and makes a possible union of good and bad attributes. It lays greater force upon his imagination and sensation. In The Old Man and the Sea , the sea is regarded as a woman. The sea as a woman is the natural expression of the human experience of the sea having the basic feminine functions: the giving of life, nourishment, protection and all embracing qualities. The sea appears to Santiago as a woman because like a woman it fascinates and nourishes him. He is dependent on it and is wholly at its mercy. The natural forces are also sometimes cruel to Santiago. Like the sea, these forces are both bread-destroyer and bread-giver. The early morning sun hurts the eyes of Santiago. He explains;"All my life the early sun has hurt my eyes, he thought. Yet they are still good. In the evening I can look straight into it without getting the blackness. It has more force in the evening too. But in the morning it is painful" (49). When Santiago reached the deep sea, the sea was very dark and the light made prisms in water.

He almost begs the fish to swallow the "hard and cold and lovely" bait, and he prays that God will make the fish take it. His prayers are answered. This is no ordinary fish; this becomes certain as soon as Santiago lodges the hook firmly in the flesh of the fish's mouth - for the old man cannot even begin to move the fish. The suspense is high as the skiff begins to move slowly off towards the northwest. The great fish is actually towing the skiff behind him. Santiago realizes immediately what is happening: the fish is moving horizontally, not vertically. The stage has now been set by a master craftsman for the enactment of a tragic drama involving a conflict demanding no less than everything between a solitary old fisherman and an immense strong marlin. The old man hopes that the weight of the skiff will soon tire the fish, yet four hours later it is still swimming steadily out to the sea, still dragging the skiff. Santiago now begins to feel uncomfortable; his straw hat cuts his forehead and he has been without nourishment for hours. The force exerted by the old man is exactly counter-balanced by the natural force being exerted at this time by the huge hidden fish. The Old Man and the Sea has a very comforting consistency. From the initial reading itself there are many elements that distinguish Santiago and his adventure from Hemingway's earlier heroes. Many have noted the positive character of Santiago's struggle, its natural context in direct contrast to the forced, artificial violence of bullfights and safaris. Santiago is also the noble hero, who is not left alone, at the end of the story, with death or despair. The Old Man and the Sea is seen as Hemingway's tragic vision; attention is paid to its essentially Christian morality. The message of the parable of Santiago is that he "went out too far"; Santiago committed a sin for which he must pay: what is important to see in this interpretation is that it makes


everything intelligible and clear; Santiago committed a sin for which he was punished and then forgiven guilt for having gone out too far. The clarity in this parable is rooted in the platonic dualistic thinking of Christianity. If we freely choose "to go out too far' we can be released from our sins only by the grace of God existing in a separate reality. Santiago, in going so far out, was participating and therefore affirming life in the highest manner possible. In the beginning he says "I am a strange old man"(P-14); Santiago knows that life itself is strange, and he pays attention to the ambiguous. From the time he gets into his boat and heads 'far out' his own vision of life begins to appear more and more clearly He thinks of the sea as feminine and while expressing his love, acknowledges even the 'bad things', the hatred which he sees as necessarily tied to any true love. The others who have power boats, those who can separate themselves from the sea, consider it masculine, as enemy of a contestant: they either win or lose in the struggle with the 'other'. For Santiago the sea gives and withholds great favours. Santiago pays attention to the unity of all existence. The ideas of solidarity and interdependence are seen throughout the novel. Santiago shows us 'what a man can do and what a man endures' when he kills the marlin, that which he most deeply loves and respects. In this process we see that strength and abilities of both Santiago and the Marlin, and from them begin to understand the profound pleasure one experiences in 'proving oneself '. The fight with the Marlin is for Santiago's existence and the fight by the Marlin is also for its own existence. Santiago went out too far, his pride led him into sin, and he was punished for this through the sharks devouring his fish. Santiago proved himself as 'a strange old man'. If Santiago had stayed close in, he could never clearly have shown what he can do and what he can endure. The most obvious point of the demand to go out so far for Santiago is that the farther out he went the


more his deepest thoughts about himself and his life occupied his thinking. Though he says he must try 'not to think but only to endure' (46), has a paradoxical leisure that allows for thinking. Inseparable from his most profound thinking occurring 'out so far' is the fact that Santiago proves himself: he does what he must do 'out there'; he kills the fish because he is a fisherman.

The dignity of both remain after their battle: they bring each other back. This direct proportion between being out so far and demonstrating and understanding one's value can also be seen in the sequence of shark attacks that destroy the marlin. The first shark that attacks is a Mako shark.

The Mako is beautiful, fast, powerful, intelligent and very deeply respected by Santiago; it has no fear and comes alone, just like Santiago. It is the largest shark Santiago has ever seen. After he kills this first shark Santiago's deepest thought is expressed; "But man is not made for defeat.........A man can be destroyed but not defeated". ( 103) The respect that Santiago feels for the Mako is tied to the fact that it happens " farthest out'. The character of the second attack 'closer in' dramatizes the value of distance for Santiago. The second attack is made by two brown, stupid Galanos. The Galanos are not brave; one attacks from underneath while the other watches from the surface. The third attack was by a single Galano: "He came like a pig to a trough if a pig had a mouth so wide you could put your head in it" (111). The final attacks come in the night; these 'closest in' attacks have the least value: "In the night sharks hit the carcass as someone might pick up crumbs from the table" (PI19). This sequence underscores the necessity of going out so far the value of the heroic individual taking the greatest risks in order to achieve the greatest fulfillment.


Santiago's adventure does not consider him guilty, it does not say that he has done something wrong, it is not predicated on a dualistic vision in terms of which one can decide absolute right and wrong. What we truly learn is that life simply is not so clear and intelligible; we learn that in order to do what must be done, to prove ourselves, we must go out so far, alone, with the realization that we may return without our fish; perhaps it is even likely that we will return "destroyed but not defeated". Santiago proves himself in killing the marlin; that he does not bring himself in matters next to nothing in comparison. Santiago will go out fishing again, realizing the need to 'prove himself again, the highest manner possible by going far out. Hemingway has depicted in his writing the plight of the individual in a world dominated by violence - human or technological, reveals the emotional strain and suffering his characters undergo. The psychologically wounded man may recover partially but a man suffering from the emotional shock stands no chance of recovery. Though Hemingway deals largely with violence, his quest for peace continues. Ernest Hemingway is a true representative of his time in a sense that his novels offer a graphic account of the outer realities. As a novelist he is concerned with the sufferings men and women experienced during the twentieth century, an artist who could see the intricacies of human relations in hard times and projected them through his hard work. These intricacies of the humans try explore the human personality placed against the hostile circumstances. Thus, Hemingway himself is a total man who struggles with the outer odds, one who celebrates the victorious moments, who does not give in easily to hostile circumstances, and then accepts his final defeat in recognition of his inability and helplessness before the omnipotent outer universe. need to participate in life and affirm it in the


Hemingway was searching for the happiness of common man in the public life and in the life of an individual. Public life includes duties and responsibilities, which make man's life meaningful. But to his utter dismay, in both the public and the private life, Hemingway observed that there is no happiness because man has become too self-centered and materialistic. The only solution in this predicament, he observes, is to survive. He observes that this world of ours is the irrelevant world . To survive in this irrelevant world is to have a sense of detachment and love life in the maximum possible way. Whatever be the time - span available to life, one must enjoy it. Sometimes, life lies in the service of society and communities and some times in the individual self. He has also expressed political views through his novels. However, he has no commitment to any particular political view or ideology; sometimes, he favours communism and sometimes he criticizes it. Though man has no control over his destiny as it is controlled by certain determining forces, he must fight against them though only defeat awaits him in the end. Hence Hemingway's chief concern is to guard mankind against the evil factors to eliminate those factors, which spoil man's endeavour for the dignity of life. In The Old Man and the Sea Hemingway's Santiago understands the fellow beings. He feels a brotherly concern for all the fellow beings. -Santiago believes that the world is created not only for man, but for all creatures. They also have the right to live in the world. This shows the connection between man and the universe. Hemingway proves through Santiago that the

intimacy shown by him is actually the love toward the whole universe. Santiago is a man of conscious and is fully aware of his responsibility in his involvement with nature. Santiago's love towards the fellow beings expressed in the novel shows that the social commitment of Ernest Hemingway is not only towards the society and to the persons, but also to the fellow beings of the universe. They are considered as an ever existing reality of universe.


Santiago's connection with the fellow beings shows his deep involvements as a part of the nature. He has a sympathy and strange appreciation for fellow-beings. They are the representatives of truth and of nature. One of Santiago's idiosyncrasies, or quirks, is his habit of talking aloud to himself and talking to the birds. This talking is a clever device introduced by Hemingway to compensate for the absence of Manolin, and there is nothing difficult about believing that a lonely old fisherman might carry on a monologue such as this. His talking to the birds shows the consideration of Santiago for the birds. Companions. As Santiago rowed slowly and steadily, he saw a warbler bird with its long black wings, circling in the sky ahead of him. This bird followed him for a long time. The bird went higher in the air and circled again, and its wings were motionless. Santiago watched the bird dipping again and slanting its wings for the dive and then swinging them wildly. As he sailed forward, the bird was almost out of sight. There is a conflict in nature represented by hawks and warblers; this is the counterpart of the battle between the old fisherman and the Marlin. The latter two however, are more evenly matched than the former ones. But all creatures must "take chance like any man or bird or fish"( ).Santiago asks the bird to stay at his house; because the bird is his best friend. The bird flew away, when the line jerked. Santiago had not even seen him go. Just then, his right hand fled. Santiago looked around for the bird, because he wanted it for company. Santiago tries to catch a dolphin. Even in his attempt to kill the dolphin, he is free from violence. The dolphin is described as a thing of beauty and as a sea marvel that must He considers them as his

nevertheless, die. In these qualities, beauty and the marvellous, the dolphin is the counterpart of the great marvel which also must die, the Marlin. The difficult feat of catching the dolphin is


described. The old fisherman decides to eviscerate the dolphin later, to save the blood in the meat. This fish is his only source of nourishment now that the flying fish from the dolphin's maw have been consumed. Santiago's morale, despite the pain, is high. He says that he feels good and his left hand is better and he has food for night and the next day. Santiago feels that he has gained on the dolphin - at least in the matter of sustenance. Santiago wishes to dream about lions. He asks himself why he dreams about lions - are the lions the main thing that is left? The answer to this question is that he is without assistance except that which comes to him from his psychic stock of private images. The second time, when Santiago sleeps, he dreams not of lions, but of tortoises stretched out for eight or ten miles. The tortoises are in their mating season; Santiago is in the middle of his own ambivalent (love-hate) relationship with the Marlin. The tortoises dive out of deep wells in the sea; Santiago had left the wells of what some people labeled 'failure'. Every event in this dream has its counterpart, or parallel, in actual events despite the distortion induced by the dream work. The second part of the dream anticipates the future; Santiago finds himself asleep in his own bed in the village, but his right arms is paralyzed because his head rests on it instead of on the pillow, and it is very cold. The actual discomfort of his ordeal penetrates into the dream. In the third part of his dream, Santiago dreams of the long yellow African beach, and he sees the first of the lions come down in the early darkness followed by other members of the pride? He is happy, waiting to see if there will be more lions. The lions represent the third, and the most exotic, of Santiago's private images. Their recurrence at this point in the struggle is significant. They are associated with the virility of his youth, the time when he had those qualities he so badly needs at the present time.


Even in this dreams, the interdependence with other creatures are explored.


needs a dream that will make him feel strong and "youthful and happy. His close relation with lions in the dreams, made him more energetic. This is the dramatic function of this dream: to enable him to draw on hidden reserves of psychic energy made available to him through private images. The interdependence of Santiago with the boy is portrayed very clearly in the first part of the novel. Besides their mutual code of honor, another thing that binds Santiago and the boy together is baseball. Santiago loves baseball-almost as much as be loves surfing. The talk about baseball who is winning and who is losing - continues through out this novel and is much more than idle conversation . The game of baseball and the great center - and outfielder Joe Dimaggio are often parallels to Santiago himself and Santiago's code of living. When Santiago talks of baseball and Dimaggio, his philosophy is emphasized. Living is a game, with rules; sometimes, one loses, sometimes one wins. Dimaggio has a flaw - the bone spur in his heel - yet he seems to play better because of his determination not to allow this bad luck to conquer him. When Santiago talks to the boy, Manolin, about the almost legendary Dimaggio, Manolin is absorbing important attitudes towards life.


Chapter III

Hemingway's life is invariably linked with his writings. A writer mostly draws upon his personal experiences, though Hemingway, as a modernist writer of 1920's, would not like to see his personal life directly reflected in his fiction. Nevertheless there is a definite picture of the life as Hemingway saw it, as he conceived it and loved it. Most of the scholars consider Hemingway in the modernist context and conclude that Hemingway's world vision is tragic where women's role is mostly negative and fatal. It is true that Hemingway's world vision is tragic, that he was deeply influenced by the deterministic factor, that held deep sway after the first world war. Santiago's experiences provide the best example for determinism. The trials and tribulations undergone by the old man in the sea offer meaning and significance to the lonely existence of the man. Santiago is a common man whose genius has deserted him. He suffers not as a result of a tragic flaw in his personality, but because he is a victim of circumstances often beyond his control. So Hemingway's concept of human tragedy differs from the classical theory of Aristotle or that of Hegel. Santiago is not a creator of circumstances but they are imposed on him by the inevitable changes in society and by other events. He is caught amidst the deterministic forces, which are bent on destroying him. He struggles single-handedly against these forces with courage and stoicism and is ultimately defeated. He meets the tragic end, but reveals remarkable determinism and readiness of the struggle for the object he has set his eyes on. Santiago is always a defeated man, who has undergone, a series of traumatic experiences. He is an active witness of the destructive elements, which surround him. Though he surrenders to them finally, it is only after his stoic resistance to them is over. The hero, who has imbibed the essence of love


and has waded laboriously against the hostile circumstances, projects the concept of human tragedy as envisaged by Hemingway as an artist. When Hemingway's novels first began to appear, they were readily accepted by the American reading public; in fact, they were enthusiastically received. Part of this reception was due to the fact that Hemingway had created a new type of fictional character whose basic

response to life appealed very strongly to the people of the 1920s. At first, the average reader saw in the Hemingway's novel, a type of person whom he could identify with, in almost a dream sense. The Hemingway hero was a man's man. He was a man who did a great deal of drinking. He was a man who moved from one love affair to another, who participated in wild game hunting, who enjoyed bullfights, who was involved in all of the so-called manly activities which the typical American male did not participate in. As more and more of Hemingway's novels appeared and the reading public became more and more familiar with this type of persona, and gradually began to formulate a theory about the Hemingway code hero. It was observed that throughout many of Hemingway's novels the code hero acts in a manner which allowed the critic to formulate a particular code. It must be emphasized, however, that the Hemingway character or code hero himself would never speak of a code. He does not makes such broad generalizations. To actually formulate a set of rules of conduct to which the Hemingway character would adhere is, in one sense, a violation of the essential nature of the code hero. He does not talk about what he believes in. He is a man of action rather than a man of theory. Therefore, the following concepts of the code are those

enunciated not by the hero himself but by the critics and readers who are familiar with the total body of Hemingway's work and of his views.


Life is a solitary struggle, a desperate fever of action, conscious of having no sense of reason beyond itself. There is nothing in it that can be justified, bettered or saved, and no problem that can really be set and solved. The struggle and the outcome of the struggle are determined by the vision of life sedimented in the work. The main theme in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is absolute failure in life and the irrational sublimation of the defeat. The saintly Santiago goes back in the end to his dreams, his head almost encircled with the halo of holiness. The Old Man and the Sea is the unique courage of the forsaken and crucified man -God that takes his attention. Hemingway clearly points out that man is just the part of a universe offering no assurance beyond the grave, and hence he is to make what he can out of life by a pragmatic ethic spun bravely out of man himself in full and steady cognizance that ends in darkness. Ernest Hemingway, through Santiago, says about his vision of life- man can be defeated, but not destroyed. The forces of universe defeat man, but mentally he cannot be destroyed. He is refreshed for a new fight, through his mental power. Every action should be an action towards an aim that can never be achieved.