Why does the old man refer to the sea as "la mar"? Why do others refer to it as "el mar"? Why does he assume his catch is a male?
These questions are interpretive and are meant to evoke ideas about gender beneath the surface of the text, and about which Hemingway is well-known or even notorious for. However, these are just meant to open students up to those ideas. Students should put forth their own opinions, as long as they are clear and refer to the text itself, developing informed ideas about Hemingway's concepts of what it means to be male and female.
Santiago does not eat very much. How can he endure such a difficult endeavor at sea as this? What...
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