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The Old Man and the Sea compared to “Shipwrecked Sailor

In the stories, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway and Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marques, there are so many similarities, like their losses and their love for the creatures of the sea, that it its eerie. Although, there are many similarities, there are also some differences, such as the main characters’ love for the creatures of the sea. There are more similarities in these stories than differences, in my opinion.


A difference between Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea and the sailor in “Shipwrecked Sailor” is their knowledge of the sea. Santiago is expressed well as a fecund and resourceful old fisherman of the sea. This is prodigiously expressed when Santiago, ”Hooked a patch of yellow Gulf weed with the gaff as they passed and shook it so that the small shrimps that were in it fell onto the planking of the skiff” (Hemmingway p.98). This is the act of a very intellectual and experienced fisherman. Unlike Santiago, the sailor in “Shipwrecked Sailor” is rather ignorant. Although, this is excused because the man hadn’t the experience at sea that Santiago had. His imbecility is shown when he, “Lay down at the side of the raft and took a few swallows of seawater” (Marques p.45). This was a rather fatuous action, because the salt dries the body and retains water. That action proves that he is not sea-worthy. So, Santiago is the more experienced seaman of the two.
A similarity between The Old Man and the Sea and “Shipwrecked Sailor” was their losses. In the “Shipwrecked Sailor”, “The sharks had made off with my prey” (Marques p.44). This event marked the loss of the man’s food supply. It wasn’t a very crucial part of the story, because the man had earlier devoured some raw meat, which had satiated him. In The Old Man and the Sea, “He did not want to look at the fish. He knew half of him had been destroyed” (Hemmingway p.144). This was a very similar method of loss, which the shipwrecked sailor had faced. This was a tragic loss and abasement to both Santiago and his pride. He was tenacious and worked so hard to obtain the fish, only to have it taken away by sharks. The old man lost the fish, even though he fought valiantly to fend off the attacking sharks. Although, the action and loss was similar in both stories, the importance varied.


Another similarity between Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea and the man in ”Shipwrecked Sailor” is their kindness and love toward the creatures of the sea. Santiago treats the creatures of the sea with great respect and love, as if they are his brothers and his sisters. ”Fish,” he said, “ I love you and respect you very much” (Hemmingway p.54). The sailor in “Shipwrecked Sailor” is very amiable to the fish and creatures of the sea, but he doesn’t show as much respect and love toward them as Santiago does. The sailor feels that, “The fish accompanying me on my journey on my journey were my friends” (Marques p.42). They both are kind and love the creatures of the sea, but in my opinion, Santiago loves them and respects them more than the sailor.


In conclusion, I feel that the books are very similar. I also feel that because of the uncanny similarity, that the last of the two stories was influenced and based upon the first of the two. The Old Man and the Sea was the better of the books, in my opinion. I feel this way because The Old Man and the Sea was better planned out and has a better theme.

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