The Old Man and the Sea
Respect and Reputation Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
The line rose slowly and steadily and then the surface of the ocean bulged ahead of the boat and the fish came out. He came out unendingly and water poured from his sides. He was bright in the sun and his head and back were dark purple and in the sun the stripes on his sides showed wide and a light lavender. His sword was as long as a baseball bat and tapered like a rapier and he rose his full length from the water and then re-entered it, smoothly, like a diver and the old man saw the great scythe-blade of his tail go under and the line commenced to race out. (3.59)
By comparing the fish’s "sword" to a baseball bat, we are reminded that the old man admires the fish the same way he admires DiMaggio.
He is a great fish and I must convince him, he thought. I must never let him learn his strength nor what he could do if he made his run. If I were him I would put in everything now and go until something broke. But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able. (3.61)
It is interesting that the old man identifies a "nobility" in the fish he kills. In what way is the old man not noble?
The old man had seen many great fish. He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never alone. Now alone, and out of sight of land, he was fast to the biggest fish that he had ever seen and bigger than he had ever heard of, and his left hand was still as tight as the gripped claws of an eagle. (3.62)
The old man accomplishes his greatest physical feat in his old age; perhaps there is greater value in skill and experience than in the strength of youth.