The Old Man and the Sea
How we cite our quotes:
"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 uses "strange" as a word to connect himself with the fish. They are strange in their unique ability to endure beyond reasonable limits.
This is the second day now that I do not know the result of the juegos, he thought. But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel. What is a bone spur? he asked himself. Un espuela de hueso. We do not have them. Can it be as painful as the spur of a fighting cock in one’s heel? I do not think I could endure that or the loss of the eye and of both eyes and continue to fight as the fighting cocks do. Man is not much beside the great birds and beasts. Still I would rather be that beast down there in the darkness of the sea. (3.85)
The old man believes that beasts are superior to man in their ability to endure. This is the opposite of what he previously thought.
Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one? he thought. I am sure he would and more since he is young and strong. Also his father was a fisherman. But would the bone spur hurt him too much?
"I do not know," he said aloud. "I never had a bone spur." (3.87, 3.88)
The old man compares his own endurance to DiMaggio’s, just as he compares himself to the fish. Both are idols he looks up to.