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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea


by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Day.Paragraph). We artificially created chapters by defining "days," because there are no chapter breaks in The Old Man and the Sea. Here’s how we divided up the days:
  • Day 1 = the start of the book until the old man falls asleep for the night
  • Day 2 = begins when the old man wakes up and goes until sunrise of the next day
  • Day 3 = begins at sunrise and goes until the old man dreams about the lions
  • Day 4 = begins when the old man wakes and ends when the old man gets back to his shack for the night
  • Day 5 = begins with the boy seeing the old man in the morning and goes until the end of the book

Quote #13

He looked around for the bird now because he would have liked him for company. The bird was gone. (3.23)

The old man finds company in the creatures of the sea because he lacks the company of men. He may, however, prefer their company to men.

Quote #14

He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea. (3.49)

The old man takes comfort in the presence of the creatures of the sea, despite the fact that there are no other men in sight.

Quote #15

"I told the boy I was a strange old man," he said. "Now is when I must prove it." (3.76)

The old man is strange in his individuality, in his isolation from others; it is in solitude that he must prove his individuality, his unique and admirable nature.

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