17. Hemingway’s Philosophy of Life OR
The Theme of the Novel
Q. Is the old man defeated or victorious? Discuss. OR When the old man comes back there is only the skeleton of fish. Elaborate. OR What is the theme of the novel? Is it pessimistic or optimistic? OR Are you justified with the end of the novel? Give reasons. OR What is Hemingway’s philosophy of life? Discuss.
Answer: – The novel “The old Man and the Sea” portrays the struggle of an old man who went far into the sea and hooked a giant fish. But he had to face the attacks of sharks. The sharks ate away all the flesh of the Marlin. When he came back, there was only the skeleton of the fish.
In so far as the end of the story is concerned, the message of the novel seems pessimistic because all the efforts made by Santiago prove fruitless. That’s why some critics think that Hemingway is a life denier writer.
But on the other hand, some critics believe that Hemingway is trying his best to throw light on the dignity and greatness of man. We can say that “The greatness of man” is the theme of the novel. Its message is optimistic because Santiago was ready to go “on a longer voyage.” He was still ready to make efforts to sustain his name.
This discussion clearly shows that the end of the novel is realistic. If Santiago had come with his hooked fish, it would have been a miracle. (Words: 185)