The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea Perseverance 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
But he seems calm, he thought, and following his plan. But what is his plan, he thought. And what is mine? Mine I must improvise to his because of his great size. If he will jump I can kill him. But he stays down forever. Then I will stay down with him forever. (3.47)
The old man’s determination takes on new levels as the tale progresses.
I must save all my strength now. Christ, I did not know he was so big."
"I’ll kill him though," he said. "In all his greatness and his glory."
Although it is unjust, he thought. But I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures. (3.73-3.75)
The old man separates man from beast by man’s ability to endure.
"I told the boy I was a strange old man," he said.
"Now is when I must prove it."
The thousand times that he had proved it meant nothing. Now he was proving it again. Each time was a new time and he never thought about the past when he was doing it. I wish he’d sleep and I could sleep and dream about the lions, he thought. Why are the lions the main thing that is left? (3.3.76-3.78)
The old man sees his own determination to prove himself reflected in the lions.