Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Things We Face Everyday

Decisions are something we make every single day of our life. It may be big or simple ones, but we always have to face the consequences either way. A teen choosing to drink and drive then runs over a child after speeding is a horrific and impulsive decision. The teen will have to live with the consequences all their life. Results of decisions may be something that will change your life forever or just something you expected. If we only knew what the answer was first then we wouldn't hesitate to choose or worry about the results in the end.

In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago a compassionate man, goes through many decisions like choosing to go fishing without the boy, waiting for the marlin, fighting off the sharks, and choosing to go out too far, so he had to face their consequences. His life wasn’t fully affected by these consequences, but he learned from them and moved on.

The first decision Santiago made was not letting the boy go fishing with him. Santiago was being humble and thoughtful because he knew that Manolin's parents didn't like him fishing with someone with no luck. The old man was being nice, but it made him lose a chance at his dream. Santiago was also trying to prove that he could still be a champion like before and get an amazing catch by himself, but if the boy had gone, then the old man would've caught the marlin sooner and brought it back as a whole. The old man at the beginning of the book pretended to reject the boy, but during his whole trip he was wishing the boy was there. “I wish I had the boy. To help me and see this.”(48). Because of not letting the boy go with him, Santiago had to face hardships on the boat and was not able to bring home his prize.

The second and great decision Santiago made was being patient and waited for the agressive marlin. The old man knew that he was going to be able and reel in the fish, so he waited. This was a good decision because he knew that patience would be repaid. Even though he waited, the marlin didn't give up until four days later. If he had left, then he would've not caught anything or had the fight of his life. “Fish, he said softly, aloud, “I’ll stay with you until I am dead.” (52) shows his determination to catch the fish and I admire this patience and determination very much. The consequence of this decision proved his willpower to be worthwhile. The old man was wise, so he eventually reeled in the fish, but luck got ran out when he faced the sharks. It’s exactly how life is. Luck will sometimes take away the things you cherish the most.

The third decision of Santiago was choosing to fight off the Mako and other sharks. This choice was very brave and showed how much he cherished his prize. “Fight them,” he said. “I’ll fight them until I die” (115). This action is worth admiring because Santiago could've died, but he was confident that he could protect his hard work. After fighting off the Mako, other sharks came and took away his friend. There was barely anything left of his friend and it left him hopeless. He fought them with everything he had, but it wasn't good enough. This scenario shows how that life is full of many surprises and not everything can go your way even if you made the best decision.

The fourth decision Santiago made was choosing to go out far and wait for the fish. Even though it wasn’t really his choice to go out far, but he was devoted in catching the marlin and ended up regretting his decision. “I went out too far.”(120) When the old man said this, I felt there was remorseful feeling in his voice. He regretted his decision because the marlin was just eaten by sharks before he brought it back home.

In Old Man and the Sea, Santiago faces many events that he has to make decisions. Most of the time he made decisions that we would make, but luck just ran out on him. Santiago probably regretted and was disappointed about going out too far or even catching the marlin, but either way he had to live with the consequences. No matter what the consequences are, I think that good will eventually come out in the end. For example, even though the old man lost the fish, the other fishermen gave him respect for his accomplishment and he learned how much he needed the boy. Some good will eventually turn out in everything; we just have to seek for the optimistic side because life is just unpredictable.

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