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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 #19

If the boy was here he would wet the coils of line, he thought. Yes. If the boy were here. If the boy were here. (4.4)

The old man needs the boy not only for companionship, but for assistance in fighting the marlin.

Quote #20

I cannot be too far out now, he thought. I hope no one has been too worried. There is only the boy to worry, of course. But I am sure he would have confidence. Many of the older fishermen will worry. Many others too, he thought. I live in a good town. (4.146)

Although the old man is isolated from others, he never feels completely alone.

Quote #21

When he sailed into the little harbour the lights of the Terrace were out and he knew everyone was in bed. The breeze had risen steadily and was blowing strongly now. It was quiet in the harbour though and he sailed up onto the little patch of shingle below the rocks. There was no one to help him so he pulled the boat up as far as he could. Then he stepped out and made her fast to a rock. (4.173)

Even when he returns to land, the old man is still alone.

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