Monday, March 8, 2010

Dark Blue

Prompt #4

Struggling is part everyday life. Whether we know it or not, we face certain barriers and obstacles. However, some can be overcome. While others, just like to stick around for some time. In Ernest Hemingway’s novella, “The Old Man and the Sea”, the main character, “Santiago” finds himself in difficult situations. Some of which were: a cramped hand, shark attacks, a huge marlin, and even the sea itself. Santiago wished many times for the boy, “Manolin”, to be at his side to experience the thrill-ride with him. However, the boy had been at home, leaving Santiago to fight on his own.

With little food or water, Santiago grows faint. His hand begins a sort of frenzy, cramping after hours of being out in the sea with the marlin. This frustrates him. But he is determined that the cramp shall go away. Knowing the essentials needed to possibly make his cramp vanish; now Santiago must eat the bonito caught earlier that day. He will eat it for strength. Even after eating the bonito, his cramp still had not disintegrated and he said: “’God help me to have the cramp go. Because I do not know what the fish is going to do’” (60). Santiago’s cramp must go; he needs both hands as a skilled fisherman. He also must be ready for the fish's aggressive jump.

Santiago becomes lonely day after day. This is because of his fondness for the boy. Normally Santiago would take the boy fishing with him. Until the boy’s parents said Santiago was the worst form of unlucky –going 84 days without taking a fish. 40 of those days were spent with the boy. But even now, Santiago knew something was missing. He talked with himself aloud, although there was no one there to hear or listen, even he wasn’t sure why. “’I wish I had the boy’” (45). The boy was his friend, and he could use the boy’s help. As the famous bible quote says, “Two are better than one.”

The marlin was one of the biggest objectives for Santiago. He never took a step back when catching the marlin; he wanted it with such desire. He knew its significance. In addition, the older fishermen would no longer have the tinge of sadness in their hearts for him. “He [The Marlin] is my fortune” (95). Santiago expressed his pride after his magnificent catch. He knew what had to be done, and he quickly got to work. Making the fish fast to the bow, stern, and middle thwart, he headed toward home.

After plunging the harpoon into the marlin and killing him, the blood of the marlin had washed out like a broom into the deep, deep sea. Santiago knew exactly what to do. He had to hurry and head home, before any austere problems occurred, for instance: threatening shark attacks. The fact that sharks can detect one drop of blood in a 2,000 gallon tank means the old man did not have good luck coming his way, if any. “The shark was not an accident. He [The Shark] had come from deep down in the water as the dark cloud of blood had settled and dispersed in the mile deep sea” (100). It was not just one shark that had come to feed on his prize, but multiple. Santiago fought until he had no more weapons. What an enduring old man he was.

The final struggle Santiago faces is the sea. Four days, at sea had been a long time for Santiago I’m sure, with the little food or supplies it’s a miracle he got home safely. Santiago had been a fisherman all his life, thus to him sea is home. He used the birds to help him find areas to fish. At sea, he did not know exactly where he was although he did have an idea for the stars, the moon, and the sun were a compass to him. He strained himself with the rope, cutting into his hands and scornful pressure falling into his back hour after hour, day after day. “He [Santiago] thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her” (29). His sweet, passionate, love for the sea was what made the old man himself. With out fish, the sea, and the boy, the old man would have nothing.

All in all, Santiago was an outgoing, unpredictable, devoted old man. Today a story like this may be frivolous. There is much more advanced technology. The lesson for the old man is to be prepared; you never know what you will expect. When the old man came back home with the skeleton, he had not been defeated. In the story it mentions how a man can be destroyed, but never defeated. That was the old man, humble as he was, but was always proud of his accomplishments. No matter what they were. No matter where they took place. He was noble. In the end, his world would remain...dark blue.


  1. 1. The thesis statement of this essay was "Struggling is part everyday life." Is is clear and concise but it does not engage me as it is very vague and could be more exciting.

    2. The quote that was best integrated into your essay was ’God help me to have the cramp go. Because I do not know what the fish is going to do’ because it was the sentence that showed the struggles that the old man has to face.

    3. The quotes that were integrated into this essay were really thought out and weren't just random quotes and I really liked that. As I said in #2, you really showed the struggles put upon to Santiago.

    4. The essay was a great essay and I really enjoyed reading it. I would just suggest to expand your thesis or first sentence into a more exciting one so that you can draw the reader in.

  2. I. The thesis is that struggling is a part of every day life. The thesis is clear to the reader. She explains the thesis well to the reader. The thesis engages the reader very well.
    II. I thought that the frist quote was the strongest. It was also a good refference to the thesis. Shows the struggle that the old man is having with the fish. That his body is taking a beating.
    III. The organization of the essay is done well. It flows well from the introduction to the conclusion. The description of the quotes are reflected very well to the thesis.
    IV. I thought the essay was well written. You might need to check some things, but i thought it was a good essay that had a strong thesis.

  3. 1) Steph's thesis is about the struggles and obstacles humans, or Santiago faces. I think that it's well written and explained in the first paragraph really well.

    2) I think that all of her quotes are equally good. If I had to pick one, I would say the one in the second paragraph. That's because it tells exactly and explains really well what event she is talking about.

    3) I think that the strongest part of Steph's essay was how well she kept to the "analysis" part of the essay. So many people just described what happened with little analysis. Steph's was different in that way.

    4) I really can't think of much that she could change. Good Job!

  4. The thesis of this essay isn’t clear but I think Steph is trying to get at that is everyone has the will power to overcome an obstacle, you just have to set your mind to it. The thesis is not completely clear. The strong point of the essay is the use of quotes, “God help me to have the cramp go. Because I do not know what the fish is going to do’” (60).” She also uses quotes from the bible, “Two are better than one.” The use of quotes was amazing. The weak point of the story is the thesis, the message of the essay. The thesis just isn’t clear and needs to work on. It needs to show throughout the essay as sort of the back bone of the essay.