11. THE SEA AS A LIVING BEING IN THE NOVEL OR
THE ROLE OF THE SEA
Q. “The Sea” is a symbol of eternal conflict and of cruel and crafty existence. Discuss. OR “The Sea” is a source of life and death for the old man. Elaborate. OR Discuss The sea as a living being. OR What is the role of sea in the novel? Discuss.
Answer: Hemingway has painted “The Sea” in a great style. He has personified the sea as a benevolent as well as a cruel agent of Nature. As a kind agent of Nature, it offers Santiago livelihood and as a cruel agent, it snatches its hunted fish through sharks.
The old man considers it a woman. It gives birth to countless creatures like a mother. It is like a teacher for Santiago because it teaches Santiago how to bear all the hardships of life.
Santiago also believes that the sea has its own rules and regulations like human beings. In its world, we see the strong exploiting the weak. There is no doubt in the fact that man can ride over its chest by his boat, but it knows how to take back its marlin. P.B. Shelley says:
Who will put forth on thee?
The unfathomable sea
To conclude, Hemingway has presented the sea as a real and living character like Santiago. Apparently the old man is defeated but he is not defeated by “The Sea”but by his own luck. (Words: 179)