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英语学习


频道:外语学习 来源:家教网 点击:632 日期:2015-1-30

being the second, to painting exhibitions, concerts and plays. His father, a successful physician, enjoyed hunting and fishing. Accompanying his father on frequent hunting and fishing trips, young Ernest Hemingway acquainted himself with such virtues as courage and endurance in a sportsman. He was an excellent football player, a boxer and a good bullfighter. 

 In 1917, after graduation from high school, Ernest Hemingway became a cub reporter on the Kansas City Star. The next year he went to take part in World War I, serving as a driver for an American ambulance unit. He was soon seriously wounded and then returned home. In 1921, Hemingway went to live in Pairs as a foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star. There, with the help of Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, he began to develop his own literary style and language: terse but to the point. His first book Three stories and Ten poems appeared in 1923. Then he published a collection of short stories In Our Time in 1925, a satirical novel The Torrents of Spring in 1926, and in the same year The Sun Also Rises, which won him critical reputation. He became the leading spokesman for the “Lost Generation”.(王卓良,1992:456)by expressing the feelings of a disillusioned, war–wounded people. The publication of A Farewell to Arms in 1929 confirmed his position as one of the most  influential writers of the time. Hemingway was probably more successful in writing short stories than in writing novels. Men without Women (1927) and Winner Take Nothing (1933), each consisting of fourteen stories, showed his consummate skills in conveying his fashion. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Hemingway went there as a correspondent. The experience provided invaluable material for his For Whom the Bell Tolls, which appeared in 1940. After the breakout of World War II, he edited an anthology Men at War.

After the war Hemingway settled in Cuba. His full-length novel Across the River and into the Tree was a failure and disappointed the public. He recaptured his critical acclaim by publishing The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, which restored his former literary image. His “mastery of the art of the art of modern narration.”(翟士钊, 1992:360)made him the Noble Prize Winner in 1954. But Hemingway’ s latter life was gloomy. In despair he killed himself with the same gun his father had used for suicide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Chapter TwoThe Analysis of the Old Man

2.1 TheMain Content of The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea, a very simple story, possesses many qualities characteristic of Hemingway. The most conspicuous and impressive of all is that the evocative simplicity of style provides it with more than one level of meaning . It may be read as a real and dramatic story, as a parable, and as a solemn and stirring poem.

The hero is Santiago, a Cuba fisherman. For eighty-four days he has not caught a single fish. And after forty luckless days the young boy Manolin, his only companion who appreciates him and admires his skills as a fisherman, has gone to another boat under the orders of his parents. On the eighty-fifth day Santiago goes far out. He finally succeeds in catching a marlin, but the great fish is tore by sharks whom Santiago fights as best as he can, and his catch ends only in a stripped skeleton. Still Santiago feels proud in his defeat. He dreams of lions while sleeping. Both the figure and the inner being of Santiago are clear cut “But man is not made for defeat .” “A man can be destroyed but not defeated .”(王卓良, 1992:459)What is important does not lie in what happens to him, but in what he essentially is. He wins a moral victory from circumstances of disaster and material defeat.

2.2 The Old Man as an Isolated Man

The Old Man and the Sea, in short marks a return on Hemingway’ s part from some attempts at social involvement to justify the story. “To an examination of action itself and a hymn of praise to the sacred nature of such action, to its purification, when uncorrupted by external cause. From the first eight words of The Old Man and the Sea, he was an old man who fished alone, we are squarely confronted with a world in which man’ s isolation is his most insistent truth.”(Hemingway, 1998:206)

Human isolation is the basic fact of our existence. The insistent truth is that men are often disguised by verbiage or theories, by titles or property, by all the various cosmetics and comforts offered by society, by entrenched religion, or by fleshly lust called spiritual allegiance, and that they forget the isolation itself. Only in Santiago’ s old age, when the egoism and ambition of the youth are no more than distant echoes, does he act in such a way that the act becomes its own truth. Without illusion as to his own importance, without despair or whining that all his labour has co me to nothing, without making excuse for himself, Santiago faces and triumphs over his own mortality.

2.3 Satinago as Sentiment

 In The Old Man and the Sea, despite Santiago’ s use of wisdom instead of mere strength, and of knowledge and wit instead of mere arrogance, it is in many ways a romantic picture of the old age itself. His oldness is monumental and rock-like; his endurance becomes a poetic symbol rather than a human reality.

For Ernest Hemingway, looking toward his own old age and attempting to construct a means of coping with it, the vision of Santiago indeed a noble possibility. That Santiago is more allegorical than possible, however, is something that Hemingway would not or could not face; it is not, after all, every old age that can ago out to sea in an open boat and catch giant marlin. And in Hemingway’ s refusal or inability to see old age but by the values of courage and will, which he had worshipped all his life and in his insistence that the old man must be simply a young man grown wiser and tougher and purer, Ernest Heming has been setting up his own final tragedy.

2.4 Santiago as Symbol

  “I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea, a real fish and real shark. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things. The hardest thing is to make something really true and sometimes truer than true .”(Hotchner, 1996:56)Perhaps the key point in this remark by Ernest Hemingway is the phrase “ truer than true,” a kind of truth that indeed means many things Reality itself, in other words, can produce a sort of echo in the mind of the readers, a meaning that begins rather than ends with the mere “ facts” of any story.

Taken as a poetic symbol, however, as an allegory of an ideal, Santiago, the fisherman remains one of the most memorable creations of modern American literature. “Every thing about him was old except his eyes”,(翟士钊, 1922:362) we are told of Santiago, “and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and defeated .”(Hemingway,1998:2)

Old but not senile,unlucky but not defeated,gentle but not soft,proud but not boastful,resigned but not passive,perhaps the most important characteristic is not jealous of others,Santiago the fisherman is a poetry of the human spirit. He may symbolize the artist who attempts the impossible by going too far out; he may represent the Christ-like essence of willing to suffer; he may be an allegory of the grandeur of aged isolation and manhood; or he may speak to us of the love and sharing which permeate all life not just human life despite its tragedy, isolation and ultimate death. Whatever meaning is the true meaning of Santiago, the quality of The Old Man and the Sea is that of poetry rather than prose. In the music of its language, in the simplicity of its plot and the indefinable essence of its dignity, this may well be the book in which Ernest Hemingway achieved the finest success of his career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three The Comment on The Old Man and the Sea

3.1 New Qualities in The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea, a Pulitzer winner, is in every sense a classic.  Hemingway explores an old man’ s endurance and courage. The old man fights in his lonely against the loss of his strength, his poverty and the loss of his luck . His physical strength, skill, experience, courage, and endurance make the short story a fable or a parable of himself.

What is new in The Old Man and the Sea or at least, what is memorable in the book is the fact that in this short novel both style and philosophy seem to be in almost perfect equilibrium. There is episode or motivation, and in this sense the book has been justly compared to lyric poem. It gives us in the most lucid and economic form, the personal vision of Ernest Hemingway---a vision which accepts man’ s ultimate defeat, but insists that such defeat can be turned into spiritual victory. For the story of Santiago the fisherman is certainly a story of defeat. The isolated old man, who goes too far out in search of the big fish, returns home with the useless skeleton of a fish. He returns exhausted, bloody, stripped of gear, and even poorer than when he started out. His entire journey has produced nothing except, perhaps food for the scavenger sharks. But every man, after all, must sooner or later end his own journey through life, his own hunt, in the same condition.

Santiago is strange because he is in every material sense the real old man. He is real as common people. “He behaves and thinks with remarkable regularity---as people are able to behave and think only in their every best moments.”(Donaldson 1988:263)           

3.2 Life and Values

Hemingway thus restates his view of life: man is doomed to lose, as Santiago’ s fishing in the sea. But “man is not made for defeat,” and “a man can be destroyed but not to defeat.” (王卓良,1992:459) Man should learn to stand upon his dignity and stay graceful even facing numerous difficulties and inevitable aging. Wisdom, experience and an indestructible spirit make Santiago, the old fisherman, a real man.

Now this is a harsh vision, and an inexorable one. It is not a vision with a  happy ending; the hero is not rescued at the last moment. We age, weaken and die, and finally lose all that we have gained at great sacrifice to ourselves. From the standpoint of material considerations, every old man is pauper and every corpse is a bankrupt---a fact which our own illusions may lead us to forget.

It is not what we get out of life that matters, nor what we produce either; what matters is the manner in which the individual faces the fact of his own mortality, his own inevitable defeat. And precisely because the defeat is so inevitable, the meaning of life is not to be found in success or failure, but rather in the struggle itself. Hemingway is full of courage, endurance and will. These are the qualities, which in The Old Man and the Sea create the heroism of Santiago’ s manhood. The trinity of ultimate value which had always been part of Hemingway’ s will, pride and endurance are those weapons which Santiago uses in his great and moving relationship to a force which he scarcely comprehends, but which he knows he must continue to strive against, knowing too that the struggle must end in defeat.

3.3 Art and Style                                                                    

Ernest Hemingway’ s highly innovative style and technique won him the appellation “ papa Hemingway ’’ in America. Hemingway is famous for his simple style. As the last novel Hemingway published in his life, The Old Man and the Sea reflects Hemingway’ s simple style. Its language is simple and natural, and has the effect of directness, clarity and freshness. Hemingway always manages to choose words “ concert, specific, commonly found, casual and conversational”.(常晓辛,1987:304)He seldom uses adjectives and abstract nouns, and avoids complicated syntax. Simple on the surface, it is subtle and complicated underneath Hemingway said “I tied to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks but if I make them good and true enough they would mean many things”.(Hotchner, 1996:56)A rhythmic quality is achieved by the poetic narration occasioned by the strong undercurrent emotion, by the repetitions of the old man’ s ritual of life, and by the refrains in dialogue, dreams and memories. Specific and conversational words in short and simple sentences fit the old man’ s simple and brave heart.

In The Old Man and the Sea, the language style is very peculiar from Hemingway’ s other writings. The simple sentences and the repeated rhythms hit at the profundities that the surface of the language tries to ignore. Its simplicity is highly connotative and often reflects the strong undercurrent of emotion. Hemingway’ s style is related to his experience as a journalist, and more importantly, to his conscientious effort in looking for the style of his own. The influence of the style is great all over the world.

The fact remains that The Old Man and the Sea is one of those books whose truth lies in its own existence. The main events of the story seemed to be based on a real incident, which is described by Hemingway in an article about fishing in the Gulf Stream in Esquire for April 1936. So the novel is based on facts, such as the habit of fish, the technique of catching marlin, the weather and the sea. But the power of the novel lies in the way to use the facts. Firstly the facts are selected “Hemingway’ s old man, boy, sea, fish, and sharks are not so much built up in our minds, detail by detail, facts by facts, as drives into our mind by the force and the sympathy with which the author himself shares in their imaginary existence”.(Graham, 1991:25) Secondly, the facts are used as a device to make the fictional words acceptable. “The facts are fundamentally a device, a technique of reassuring our sense of everyday values”.(张微,1991:39)As Kenneth Graham has said “many facts in the novel about fishing and about the sea have a double function: they satisfy people’ s sense of the real world”.14(Graham, 1991:260) And this is what underlies Hemingway’ s famous statement that his intention was always to convey to the reader “the way it was”.(Graham, 1991:29)Unlike other novelists who add allegorical meanings to their facts, Hemingway uses the facts simply and naturally; while in the latter part of the novel, they are used from inside Santiago’ s own consciousness.

 

 

 

Chapter Four Conclusion

    The chief quality that sets off The Old Man and the Sea from Hemingway’ s previous works, especially from For Whom the Bell Tolls and Across the River and Into the Trees is not any major change either in his literary style or in his personal philosophy. It is true that the saga of Santiago represents something of a new direction for Ernest Hemingway, in the sense that the book is an attempt to cope with the problem of old age, an attempt to make a fable concerned not with the romantic postures of youth, but rather with the resources of manhood and initiative open to an individual whose youthful strength and youthful romance are far behind him. These resources themselves, however, represent no great change, for the sacred value of manhood is still defined in The Old Man and the Sea, by the qualities of will, pride, and endurance which made up the “Hemingway Code” in all his books. Life for Hemingway is full of battles and tension. Destruction and death are human beings’ fate. The Old Man and the Sea also exhibits Hemingway’ s consummate craftsmanship. Simple on the surface, it is subtle and complicated underneath. The precise and concrete observation, the simple declaration and the sequence of emotion and action are the characteristics of the book.

   If the themes of The Old Man and the Sea are those with which Hemingway was preoccupied throughout his life, it is also true that the style of the book represents a continuation of, rather than a departure from, that style which Hemingway spent a life time perfecting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

1 .Hotchner. A. E.1996, papa Hemingway , New York Randons House.

2. Hemingway Ernest. 1998, The Old Man and the Sea, Beingjing World Publishing Press.

3.Graham. Kenneth. 1991, The Old Man and the Sea, Beingjing World Publishing Press.

4 Donaldson. Scott. 2000, The Cambridge Companion to Ernest Hemingway, Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

5. 翟士钊1994, Selected Readings in American Literature, Henan University Press.

6.常晓辛,1987,《美国文学选读》,南京大学出版社。

7.王卓良,1996,《二十世纪美国小说史》,上海译文出版社。 

8.张  微  2005, 《海明威小说的叙事艺术》,上海社会科学出版社。

 

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