Christopher's Personal Gallery

MP4 Culminating Project part 2

MP4 Culminating Project part 2

Published on 8 June 2023
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Transcript
00:00
In Hemingway’s novella “The Old Man and the Sea,” he utilizes Santiago’s individual quest for the marlin in an attempt to show the reader that no man, no matter his strength or determination, can overcome the will of a group. That idea is prevalent near the end of the novel, during midnight, a pack of Galanos return to eat the marlin, and the narrator says that Santiago
00:15
“knew the fight was useless… He clubbed desperately at what he could only feel and hear and felt something seize the club and it was gone,” (Hemingway 118).
00:20
Before this, Santiago was able to hold his own against every obstacle, the marlin, the man in the arm wrestling match, even the two galanos that came first. However, all of these obstacles only included one or two individuals, which made it favorable for Santiago since Hemingway’s “code-hero” always needs to fight alone, so these obstacles, though great, are never unfair for Santiago. When the pack of Galanos test Santiago, he simply cannot overcome their numbers the same way he could overcome the mako or marlin. Even though one could argue that the old man would have held them off if he had better equipment and it was daytime, the galanos would either still finish eating the marlin, or they would come back. The endurance of a powerful individual can never, in this novel, overcome the numbers of a group or community. By using the Galanos as Santiago’s downfall, Hemingway is able to convey the criticism of individuality, that being that society is often weaker since it is disunited.
01:02
Moving on, Hemingway uses the Cuban fishermen community to reveal this theme as well. The first page of the novel expresses the divide between the individualistic Santiago and the community based fishermen by showing the contrast between their fishing numbers, the narrator describes Santiago as having “Salao,” the worst form of unluckiness which is why he hasn’t caught a fish for more than 80 days. However, the boy who was accompanying him the first 44 days, left due to his parent’s demands, where he then entered a group of fishermen where during the first week, they caught 3 good fish (Hemingway 9).
01:26
The blatant results of both Santiago and the fishermen speaks volumes of how Hemingway portrays individualism and community, the fishermen are all amateurs compared to Santiago in terms of determination, but if one man can’t catch a fish in 84 days and a small group could catch 3 good fish in a week, then does skill really matter? Hemingway makes Santiago seem down on his luck, but he is also making Santiago's loneliness his weakness, there is a good chance that with help from anyone like Manolin, Santiago could have kept the marlin somewhat intact. Both the downfall of Santiago by a group of sharks and the better results of a community of less experienced fishermen paints a negative picture of working alone and individuality as a whole.