The Old Man and the Sea

Chasing Fish: Comparing The Ultimate Goals Found in "The Old Man and The Sea" And "Dances with Wolves" 11th Grade

We are all chasing our own fish. We're all trying desperately to grasp something that is just out of our reach. For Santiago, the main character in Hemingway's The Old Man and The Sea, he is chasing a literal fish. He exhibits exceptional amounts of patience towards this fish - as one must when pursuing an important goal - spending eighty-four uneventful days at sea in hopes of finally snagging the monster. Santiago sacrifices his physical and mental stability whilst in pursuit of his ultimate goal, and if one looks at the bigger picture, Kicking Bird of Dances with Wolves does the same. But, in order to compare the ultimate goals of the main characters, we must first deduce what Kicking Bird’s “fish" is. What is it that keeps slipping for his clutches?

Some could argue that Kicking Bird's metaphorical "fish" is the white man, that he is constantly yearning to understand their customs and way of life. This would explain his inquisitiveness and interest toward Lieutenant Dunbar throughout the book. Though this is sound reasoning, I would argue against it. If Kicking Bird's "fish" is the white man, then he would have caught it long ago when he adopted Stands With A Fist into his family. Kicking Bird would have been given the...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 804 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 5907 literature essays, 1674 sample college application essays, 229 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in