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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

Strength and Skill Quotes Page 3

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

He was rowing steadily and it was no effort for him since he kept well within his speed and the surface of the ocean was flat except for the occasional swirls of the current. He was letting the current do a third of the work and as it started to be light he saw he was already further out than he had hoped to be at this hour. (2.23)

The old man uses his knowledge of the sea and his technical skill to make up for what he lacks in physical strength.

Quote #8

Before it was really light he had his baits out and was drifting with the current. One bait was down forty fathoms. The second was at seventy-five and the third and fourth were down in the blue water at one hundred and one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. Each bait hung head down with the shank of the hook inside the bait fish, tied and sewed solid and all the projecting part of the hook, the curve and the point, was covered with fresh sardines. Each sardine was hooked through both eyes so that they made a half-garland on the projecting steel. There was no part of the hook that a great fish could feel which was not sweet smelling and good tasting. (2.25)

The old man’s prowess is displayed through his knowledge and technical skill in fishing.

Quote #9

He looked down into the water and watched the lines that went straight down into the dark of the water. He kept them straighter than anyone did, so that at each level in the darkness of the stream there would be a bait waiting exactly where he wished it to be for any fish that swam there. Others let them drift with the current and sometimes they were at sixty fathoms when the fishermen thought they were at a hundred. (2.28)

The old man is presented to us as superior to other fishermen, almost supernaturally so.

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