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Hemingway's "The Old Man And The Sea"

617 words - 3 pages

In Hemingway's novel "The Old Man and the Sea" there is a common relationship between Santiago and the fish that dealt with respect but the desire to conquer. Within this relationship Hemingway describes Santiago's feelings and attitudes toward the fish and how these feelings change. At first, Santiago was glad he hooked the fish, then he felt sorry for the fish, and finally he felt guilty for going out so far. He describes Santiago's views by using many different stylistic elements such as diction and tone.The first stylistic element that Hemingway uses to show Santiago's emotions for the fish is diction. Hemingway accomplishes this through the use of opposite words. "Aren't they lovely? Eat them good now and then there is the ...view middle of the document...

Tone is the second stylistic element that Hemingway uses in the passage on pages 41-50. Tone, overall, is the most important element due to the fact that it effects how the reader perceives the passage. "Come up easy and let me put the harpoon in you. All right. Are you ready? Have you been long enough at table?" (pg 44) The words used in the previous quote clearly display Hemingway's fluctuating tone. As Santiago's anxiety increases for the fish so do the words that Hemingway chooses. After Santiago kills the fish Hemingway brings the tone down to a calm and subtle level. "Then he began to pity the great fish that he had hooked. He is wonderful and strange and who knows how old he is, he thought. Never have I had such a strong fish nor one who acted so strangely." (pg 48) This is an example of the transition from the anxiety that Santiago once felt to the sympathy that he now feels for the fish. The reason for Santiago's sympathy for the fish is because as he struggles to catch the fish so did the fish to free itself. Hemingway does this in order to let his audience know that Santiago desires and respects this fish yet he must conquer it. Conquering the fish not only fulfills Santiago's aim, but tore away his dignity and what is left of his soul.In conclusion, Hemingway describes Santiago's changing views of the fish using stylistic elements such as diction and tone. Both tone and diction work hand in hand to keep the reader on their toes. Without diction and tone Hemingway would lose his audience's attention. Both of these stylistic elements combined create Hemingway's unique style. Even though Hemingway may confuse some of his readers his writing remains effective throughout the passage and the rest of the novel.

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