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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

Pride Theme

In The Old Man and the Sea, pride and humility are not mutually exclusive qualities. The old man is declaratively characterized as humble, yet he "suffers no loss of pride" in being so. Later, however, his pride is referred to as "long gone." What does it mean to be proud, the text asks us to consider. Humility, it seems, is a beneficial characteristic, as it keeps the old man sound and rational in his decisions on the sea. Santiago briefly wonders if pride is a problem, if killing for pride makes the act a sin.

Questions About Pride

  1. Amazingly, the old man seems to be both proud and humble. How is this possible? Does pride help or hurt the old man in his battle against the marlin? What about humility?
  2. Based on his memories and stories, has the old man gained or lost pride over time?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

What he has left of pride is the old man’s most essential tool in his battle against the marlin.

The old man is more humble than he is proud.

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