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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

Strength and Skill Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #13

The old man held the line delicately, and softly, with his left hand, unleashed it from the stick. Now he could let it run through his fingers without the fish feeling any tension. (2.57)

The old man’s first tools against the fish are his experience and dexterity.

Quote #14

He was happy feeling the gentle pulling and then he felt something hard and unbelievably heavy. It was the weight of the fish and he let the line slip down, down, down, unrolling off the first of the two reserve coils. As it went down, slipping lightly through the old man’s fingers, he still could feel the great weight, though the pressure of his thumb and finger were almost imperceptible. "What a fish," he said. "He has it sideways in his mouth now and he is moving off with it." (2.67)

The old man displays a thorough knowledge of his enemy, the fish.

Quote #15

"Now!" he said aloud and struck hard with both hands, gained a yard of line and then struck again and again, swinging with each arm alternately on the cord with all the strength of his arms and the pivoted weight of his body. (2.74)

While the old man at first uses cunning to trap the fish, he then has to rely on his own strength.

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