The Old Man and the Sea

Nature in The Old Man and the Sea: From Transcendentalism to Hemingway's Modernism College

Thoreau writes that “This curious world we inhabit...is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.” This seems to be a philosophy that Hemingway’s character, Santiago, would adopt. Throughout the novella, “The Old Man and the Sea”, Santiago is constantly on the same existential plane as nature. He views the sea and nature itself as an equal and arguably as a superior. Whether the origin is out of senility, out of loneliness, or out of genuine brotherhood with nature, Santiago treats nature (more specifically, the sea and the wildlife that it shelters) as an actual entity in which he harbors genuine love for.

Hemingway himself was often intimate with nature; it is no secret that nature has had enormous influence on his prose. Important to note is that, “...of all the Hemingway protagonists, Santiago is closest to nature--feels himself a part of nature; he even believes he has hands and feet and a heart like the big turtles'.” (Hovey). There is a sense of unity amongst Santiago and the natural world. Crucial to the understanding of Santiago is Hovey’s saying that he “feels himself a part of nature”. There are several nods to this unity in the text itself in which...

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