Tuesday, March 13, 2012


In life we face many obstacles whether they are huge obstacles or just little ones we face everyday. Everyone deals with them differently but it all depends on the person facing them. Martin Luther once said, “The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.” This quote resembles Santiago from the old man in the sea. By Ernest Hemingway. Santiago dealt with differently then most people. He faced bad luck, a giant fish, and staying focused.
The first obstacle Santiago faced is the beginning of the book, most people would look right over it but it makes a huge impact to the rest of the book. Santiago was not catching any fish he was considered “Soloa” which is a horrific form of unluckiness. “He had gone eighty-four days now without catching a fish.”(9) He could not catch any fish. After the boys parents would not even let the boy come with Santiago because he was saloa. But Santiago was so ambitious he ignored everyone and kept on fishing knowing that those people were just a bunch of pessimistic group of people. I always thought if he was on a roll catching fish left and right would he be so obsessed with catching this huge fish. Would he have been so devoted to catching this fish if he knew that he could just catch a lot of smaller fish. That was the obstacle he faced with being unlucky.
The next obstacle is when Santiago just caught the fish and was trying to reel it in. He finds out that the fish is really big and powerful. “I’m being towed by a fish and I’m the towing bitt. I could make the line fast. But then he could break-it, I must hold him all I can and give him line when he must have it. Thank go he is traveling and not going down.” Santiago is struggling with not knowing what to do. If he does just one move wrong he could lose his giant fish. But he ended doing the right thing. His obstacle was how he should bring in the fish now that he has caught it.
Lastly his last obstacle was he had to stay focused and awake. On his last day he was starting to lose focus. “Clear up, head. He said in a voice he could hardly hear, clear up.” He couldn’t stay focused. He had to stay concentrate in order to get the giant fish he had caught he wasn’t going to let this fish go. Also he was tired. “He had been on the point of feeling himself go each time.” He was struggling to stay awake because he had been up for three days straight. But in the end he fought through it and persevered through the pain and stress.
Santiago faced bad luck, a giant fish, and staying focused. He is very unique, most would just give up right after two hours or so but he didn’t. He had a lot of self-discipline and fought through the pain. Although Santiago didn’t get the fish in the end he still took a chance and he got a good experience out of it.  “If we don’t take chances in life we will never learn how to fail.” –Steven Spielberg said that after one of his movies tanked in the box office. This is saying that you need to take chances in life in order to get somewhere we need to tackle those obstacles that life throws out at us just like Santiago did with the giant fish.

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