I studied Hemingway’s famous novella in Gr 11 and demonstrated my improved writing skills in that unit . Not sure whether I liked it. I went back to this book after my practice teaching unit on Young Man and the Sea, hoping to self-assess my growth since the unknowing and confused adolescence. I only achieved little of that goal… I am still immature to heart-feel the greatness and victory of the old man. Those themes did not come to me as strongly as his bottomless loneliness and misfortune. Maybe some people might point my shallowness, but the question “why?” still lingers in my mind. Why did the old man have to lose his great reward of his perseverance and industriousness? Why should great novels always end sadly?
He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching undulation of the calm….and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.
Maybe it’s primarily my own state of mind that prevents me to clearly appreciate the positive themes of success and victory of the old man. In certain points of my practicum, I was unsure and doubtful of my abilities and prospect. I felt lonely and awkward wherever I went and whatever I did. At times, I felt like a luckless and pathetic fisherman left alone in the vast ocean, with no assurance in his own abilities to catch fish and support himself. I wished I had somebody whom I could share my innermost feelings and struggles, just like the old man who repeatedly looks out for the company of Manolin. Despite the incomprehensible criticisms and unprepared challenges, I must learn to believe in myself. …Now I began to understand what the old man stands for. At the end of the day, I would go back to my little cell and take a deep rest on my bed and recharge my battery for tomorrow, just like nothing bad has happened. If that’s what can be called triumph, I don’t have to feel too bad about myself after all.