Abstractthe old man and the sea "is the creation in 1952 of a novella, won the Nobel prize for literature in 1954. Its author Hemingway is a famous modern American writer, "the old man and the sea" is the masterpiece of his later works. Novel shaping the success of the old man Santiago this tough guy image, he faced the misfortune of the hardships of life and fate, still be brave, fearless, confident, optimistic, maintain human dignity and courage. Hemingway himself as a prototype, the life experience and character to fully join the characterization of the Santiago character. The characteristics of the elderly have a great inspiration for Contemporary College students.

Key words: "the old man and the sea"; Santiago; character; enlightenment


EmeslHemingway, l899 1961is a famous American writer who is regarded as one of the most important and outstanding writers of the twentieth Century. He created the farewell Wu tetrahedrite, "the sun rises as usual times," for whom the bell tolls "," the old man and the sea "many influential works. In all the works of Hemingway, "the old man and the sea" is the most famous one. Although the story is simple and not simple but far-reaching influence. The novel was created in 1952, and this is the last novel written by Hemingway. This work has won the 1953 Pulitzer prize and the Nobel prize for literature in 1954. In this novel, Hemingway describes the challenges of human being alone, with great determination and courage. The protagonist Santiago is not only the image of a common laborer is the full meaning of the image of the hero pool symbolizes generosity, love, perseverance of the spirit and shape literary history of the famous "tough guy" image.

2. The Social Background

After the Civil War, the United States witnessed great development in industry, population, technology and agricuture. American politics, economy and culture were growing and developing rapidly. At the same time, American capitalism was also rising and developing rapidly. America was becoming the world's industrial power. At this time, there was an economic boom, which produced a sense of optimism and hope among the people. Most Americans believed that there would be more opportunities open to people and the future seemed especially bright. But the rapid development of economy and the formation of monopolies by big interest groups pushed America into imperialist stage. A few financial giants controlled capital. Various kinds of social problems emerged: poverty, class struggle, etc. In front of all these, the Americans were not as hopeful as before.

Then when it came to the twentieth century, a series of wars broke out. The Wars, especially the First World War and the Second World War, brought great affection to the life of people. They brought violence,destruction, blood and death. The Americans who used to take pride in themselves on the material progress and the advance of civilization, found that their dream was totally destroyed by the occurrence of the First World War. During the aftermath of World War I, many traditional religious beliefs lost their force. Order and diving direction no longer seemed to characterize the world. In a changed situation, the task of the artist was to discover new meaning and create new forms.

The whole world of America had experienced a dramatic social change, a transformation from order to disorder, strikes took place in several big cities because of the industrial depression: the rate of unemployment went up due to the oversupply of goods; farmers were driven off their land owing to the poor harvest of the crops-all this resulted in the Crash of the Stock Market in 1929, which marked all the beginning of The Great Economic Depression in the 1930s. Besides, political corruptions, racial tension, the changed moral codes and values, and the growth of radical labor force made the disorderly society more turbulent. In such a cold, indifferent and turbulent society, the life of American people became a nightmare of poverty and absolute misery.They were hopeless and helpless in face of this. Everything seemed to be disintegrating, all of a sudden, and an ordered, rational existence proved to be impossible. People became less certain about what might arise in this changing world and had little faith in the accepted standards of honesty and morality. They had feelings of fear, loss, disorientation and disillusionment. They no longer had the hopeful attitude towards their nation and themselves. In this period, there was a deep spiritual crisis in the society.

3. the image of Santiago

3.1 Santiago's lonely image

"He was a lonely old man, shaking a little boat every day to catch fish in the Gulf of Mexico," wrote the work. Eighty-four days, he did not have a fish they caught the boy's parents to call him back and told him that the old man is a complete man in the "bad luck" is to say that the pole. Parents arrange boys from the other boat into the sea, the boy obediently went to the first week caught three fish. Boy looks at the old man every day shook his empty boat back, heart very afflictive always run bank, to help him set good fishing rope, towing hook, harpoons and volume to the mast of the canvas back move. The old man on the canvas Sewn Patch, used to cover the hole, after the furled, like a forever banner of victory can not be defeated. " Lonely figure implies the old man's heart of loneliness and loneliness, the child's behavior implies a close friendly relationship with the old man and the "failure of the banner" is more of the old man is doomed to failure. It is in this situation, the old man decided eighty-fifth days to sail far to catch a big fish. The sea alone, when he really caught a big marlin, knowing that the other power is stronger than him, or to fight to the end. Wait until the turtle again attacked him by all means to fight back. After a fierce battle, the old man did not keep the marlin but he always stick to fight with the turtle, so that the old man is a winner of the spirit. In Santiago, we see is no longer a person's loneliness and show us is a "lonely" warriors, suddenly let the people in awe. At the same time, we also see the San Diego's character: strong and brave, calm and fearless club to face all the difficulties and challenges.

3.2 Santiago's heroic image

By Hemingway described Santiago's heroic image is displayed vividly. The novel description he said marlin is his "brother" shows his attention to and friendship; he killed marlin and fight with the turtle, is reflected in the he is not afraid of difficulties, the courage to fight the spirit of the; most important is he in the face of failure remained indomitable will to fight. Finally failed, but he always did not bow to the struggle. In capture the fish and turtle with fighting for three days and three nights, the elderly show to us is a strong and brave, unremitting struggle of the heroic image. There are two stories in Santiago in trouble to myself Josiah memorable. When he and the big marlin stalemate he to himself said ` pain for men not thing ", when he was the turtle siege he of his shouting" people are not born for defeat, a man can be destroyed but not defeated "and the passionate discourse, showing the inner world of a man of indomitable. At the same time, it encourages we strong enough to face all the difficulties and challenges. So the old man Santiago is a failure of the hero. At the same time, it also tells us a truth: people can fail, but can not be defeated with a strong and brave will to overcome all difficulties this is the "old man and the sea," the spirit of praise.

3.3 Santiago Heroes

   In the novel of China and Russia have by analysis of works to understand Hemingway's "tough guy" image "old man was thin and gaunt neck tour of some very deep wrinkles. With some brown spots on the cheeks, the sun's rays are reflected in the tropical sea. His hands commonly used rope fish, leaving the description is carved very deep scar "details the three enable us to immediately in the mind emerges the elderly old image of Russia can vaguely see the appearance of the old man who worked hard. At the same time, we will also pay attention to the old man's eyes as blue as the sea ", showing a cheerful and unyielding look." A few words on the old man's eyes full of vitality, which reflects the elderly do not yield, unwilling to fail the spirit. Described by Hemingway, San Diego in trouble is a bravery, adhere to the struggle of the tough guy image, and the mention of San Diego in the failure to remain optimistic attitude and fortitude of the hardness of life reflects his tough guy character and thus show he is a not yield, unwilling failure hard man. Santiago is indeed a very hard man, but the author in the description of his exposure to the shortcomings of his side which is more able to reflect the reality of the characters. Such as the he and Ming Nuolin repeated during a dialogue about non-existent rice and net exposed his character in the rational side of "what to eat non??" the boy asked "yellow rice with fish to eat. Would you like some. "" don't, I'll go home to eat. I give you light a fire. "" no, I'll get yourself, eat the rice cold thousands "is shown" I use fishing nets, OK? "" of course. " In fact they are neither rice and fish, there is no net, this visionary talk shows the old heart of emptiness. However, this defect not only failed to make the characters seem sad, but he is more close to the reality. For if a man is too perfect to be true, he will lose the foundation of the truth, and the author has made a clever way to avoid the over - perfection of the characters.

4.Interpretation of characters

Harsh natural environment, the elderly will be boundless sea compared to a woman, beautiful and lovely; he will be their opponents Marlin called brothers, even want to hand feed to feed it. The old fisherman sympathy fragile small petrels, even in a tense naval battle to halt conversation on ship kurtosis of the birds. This sympathy for the weak, the respect for the opponent reflects the old man's kindness and kindness. Clings to the complex social environment in the face of 84 consecutive days fishing nothing bad luck, defiance of the boy's parents, the old man was very kind; even desperate duel and earned a pair of fish skeleton also can not forget the head send people fishing with; works in the old man and the little boy between the sincere friendship and so on description reflects the old kind of simple character. In all of Hemingway's works both the farewell, weapons, Frederic Henry or "for whom the bell tolls" Robert Jordan are to appear in the "tough guy" image and Santiago was Hemingway's most famous "tough guy". His image is a reflection of Hemingway's deep thinking about life. In his works, the old man although on the surface without success, but he is a spiritual victory spring "people are not born for defeat, a person can be destroyed, but not defeated, the inspiring words will continue to in life continue and develop.

5.Enlightenment of Santiago personality of College Students

5.1Enlightenment of "tough guy" spirit of College Students

In the novel "the old man and the sea", Ernest Hemingway, shaping the success of the San Diego the brave, fearless, confident, optimistic, tough guy image. For those graduating or has just entered the job of college students, should learn from the "tough guy" spirit of San Diego.

Students may not meet San Diego experienced hardships, they lived in relative comfort and peace environment, and by the parents meticulous care. They want to more happier than San Diego. But when looking for a job, unforeseen difficulties will ensue. There are many college students looking for work at the same time every year, they have to face the fierce competition. But they should be confident, believe you will find a suitable job. When they get the interview, when sitting in front of the interviewer, don't be shy, dare to shake hands with them. The failure of the interview students should be more optimistic and brave, to prepare for the next interview. Think about the difficulties facing the San Diego. When looking for a job does not need to worry about failure, a tough guy like San Diego.

For those who have found a job and work for a period of time, students should also learn from Santiago. When the students have just entered the community, many unexpected things will appear in front of them. Lack of experience is a very normal thing to make mistakes. Be brave to face the pressure and face the difficulties, there will always be a way to solve the problem. San Diego bravely face the big marlin and shark challenge. Therefore, it has been a job of college students should learn from him, success in society based.

5.2the importance of good and friendly College Students

Manolin's love for Santiago reflect Santiago's kind and friendly. College students should realize the importance of kindness and friendship to their success. Now almost every family has only one child, the child is regarded as the apple of their parents, and sometimes it will enable them to become pride and selfishness. In fact, they should learn how to build good relationships with others, and to be friendly to others. Many college students in the school will participate in volunteer activities, which requires them to treat people friendly, help each other. Without the encouragement and help of friends, they will be setbacks in their career. Similarly, friendly exchanges will make them more friends, very helpful for their life and work.

5.3 attitude towards loneliness

Santiago is very lonely, but he used his own way to dispel loneliness, it also reflects his courage and optimism. As mentioned above, almost every family has only one child, it is doomed from the beginning of the birth he will face loneliness. No brothers and sisters with him, when the parents go out to work, he is the only person to stay at home. When they grow up into the University, because of a roommate, perhaps it would ease loneliness. But when they graduated, the loneliness will appear. They may come to a strange city, surrounded by strangers, no one to help them at the beginning, they will feel very depressed, the mood is very low. In this case, they should adjust their own motivation, and can give parents and friends call to relieve the loneliness. Loneliness should not become college students lose hope for life to work, an excuse to lose patience, learn from Santiago, go ahead.


[1] Morgan, Kathleen,Losada,Luis.Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea: A homeric hero. Hemingway Review . 1992

[2] Plath,James.Santiago at the plate: Baseball in The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway Review . 1996

[3] Waggoner,Eric.Inside the current: A Taoist reading of The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway Review . 1998

[4] Cain,William.Death sentences rereading The Old Man and the Sea. Sewanee Review . 2006 

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