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
If you’re not tired, fish," he said aloud, "you must be very strange."
He felt very tired now and he knew the night would come soon and he tried to think of other things. (3.83, 3.84)
The old man recognizes his own strange individuality in the fish.
An airplane passed overhead on its course to Miami and he watched its shadow scaring up the schools of flying fish…
[...]The boat moved ahead slowly and he watched the airplane until he could no longer see it.
It must be very strange in an airplane, he thought. I wonder what the sea looks like from that height? They should be able to see the fish well if they do not fly too high. (3.93-3.95)
In his isolation, the closest the old man gets to other people is a glance at a passing plane.
It was dark now as it becomes dark quickly after the sun sets in September. He lay against the worn wood of the bow and rested all that he could. The first stars were out. He did not know the name of Rigel but he saw it and knew soon they would all be out and he would have all his distant friends.
"The fish is my friend too," he said aloud. "I 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." (3.105, 3.106)
The old man feels uneasy at having to kill the fish, as it will push him further into isolation on the sea.