The Old Man And The Sea: as a Masterpiece

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      A novelist is generally judged with reference to the following aspects of his literary work the art of story telling, character portrayal, technique or craftsmanship, philosophy of life and style. Judged from those points of view Ernest Hemingway  qualifies to be one of the illustrious novelist. Hemingway writes of what he knows from his own experience and he writes it as honestly, directly and clearly as he can. Now let us dwell upon the qualities of Hemingway's memorable novel The Old Man And The Sea and observes how they make it a great Masterpiece of literary art.

The qualities of Hemingway's memorable novel The Old Man And The Sea and observes how they make it a great Masterpiece of literary art.
The Old Man And The Sea

      The Old Man And The Sea which throws much light on Hemingway's art of fiction has been rightly called classic. When we describe a literary work a classic we mean that it is a work of supreme excellence in respect of it's various aspects and it's profound significance for meaning insurance its immortality, The Old Man And The Sea is surely a great book as readers to its structures its characters portrayal its realism and it's vision of life.

      The Old Man And The Sea is a compact neatly organised novel. The story is smoothly and swiftly told without interruption or degradation. There is nothing surplus and every detail tells. In literal terms the novel tells the story of a fisherman's adventure with Merlin and with the sharks a story that is exciting and thrilling with a lot of suspense. In symbolic term the novel deals with the theme of the undefeated man or the man facing heavy odds of his life and winning a moral victory even though defeated in physical sense. There is a deep use of symbols in the story the boy, the lions, Di Maggi O, the baseball champion. The imagery of the classification is used to lend force to the the accent of the old man's suffering and to bring out his quality. Indeed the writing of this novel Hemingway shows himself a superb craftsman.

      The portrait of Santiago is unforgettable. The Old Man's humility, his pride, his courage, his endurance, his faith - these are all brought out in course of the story and these arouse the deepest admiration for him. The boy Manolin with his sincere devotion to Santiago and his intense interest in fishing is also convincingly depicted. Even the kindly restaurant owner is a living figure whom we seemed to have met.

      Hemingway is a realistic novelist and The Old Man And The Sea is indeed a highly convincing and deeply moving work, even if the old man's killing a giant Merlin single handed seems a bit unusual. Not only are the human characters perfectly credible but the merlin, the dolphin, the man of war, bird, the green turtles, the flying fish, and the sharks are all vividly described and the description shows evidence of the author's first hand and intimate knowledge of the sea and it's creatures.

      To Hemingway nature in The Old Man And The Sea is not something evil. Santiago feels quite at home in the midst of the birds and the creatures of the sea. The giant marlin is his first friend and brother the start are distant friends, he speaks even to the dangerous Portuguese man-of-we in a familiar manner.

      Finally it must be admitted that The Old Man And The Sea is undoubtedly a classic. It gives the effect of action frozen in a graceful tableau for our moral and aesthetic contemplation. It is a novel that deserves the reader's serious attention and it is a highly stimulation and inspiring experience hence it is a great masterpiece of literary art.

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