The Old Man and the Sea

What is the implication in broader terms; do we EVER stop having to prove ourselves(according to Hemingway)?

Sanitago feels he must "prove himself" to the fish and to the boy, "Now he was proving it again. Each time was a new time...."

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Last updated by jill d #170087
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Santiago was a great man and age has caught up to him. He is mocked by the younger fishermen and feels he must prove himself yet again. Our society demands youth and strength. Wisdom and age are rarely respected. In this context the aged feel the need for validation. Great sports stars, like Santiago's idol Joe Dimaggio, are not supposed to grow old and decrepit. I think we only stop proving ourselves when we decide to opt out of the mainstream belief of youth and power above all.