The Old Man and the Sea
Important Quotations Explained
no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences,
nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of
his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the
beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them
as he loved the boy.
then the stern line came taut under his foot, where he had kept
the loop of the line, and he dropped his oars and felt the weight
of the small tuna’s shivering pull as he held the line firm and
commenced to haul it in. The shivering increased as he pulled in
and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the
gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the
boat. He lay in the stern in the sun, compact and bullet shaped,
his big, unintelligent eyes staring as he thumped his life out against
the planking of the boat with the quick shivering strokes of his
neat, fast-moving tail. The old man hit him on the head for kindness and
kicked him, his body still shuddering, under the shade of the stern.
have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I
am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.” Imagine if each
day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away.
. . . Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat
and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for
him. . . . There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner
of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these
things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to
kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the
sea and kill our true brothers.
the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of
the water showing all his great length and width and all his power
and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in
the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray
over the old man and over all of the skiff.
did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he
thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman.
You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you
love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?
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