Interpretation of Ecological Consciousness in The Old Man and the Sea

Categories: Ecology

In recent years, with the increasing environmental crisis, the ecological writing and ecological criticism of the relationship between man and nature has received more and more attention. In the work "The Old Man and the Sea", Hemingway vividly showed his readers the concern for human living environment and the respect for nature's ecological and cultural awareness.

This chapter attempts to analyze the author's thinking on the relationship between human and nature in the perspective of emerging ecological literary criticism, so that people can abandon the values ​​of anthropocentrism and establish a correct ecological outlook.

Research on the Text of The Old Man and the Sea. 

Summary of the Іtory of "The Old Man and the Sea".

"The Old Man and the Sea" is a masterpiece of American writer Hemingway's later years. Hemingway claims that this is the best work he can write in his life. This book won the 1953 US Pulitzer Prize and won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The author recorded the whole process of fishing of Cuban old fisherman Santiago in a camera-like realistic way. This handed down work actually originated from the author's life experience: the author and his friend Veruntis encountered an old man and a child struggling to catch a blue marlin on the way to Cuba. The author's friendly help Strictly rejected, Hemingway wrote this experience as a novel.

"The Old Man and the Sea" tells the story of the old fisherman San Diego who went fishing in the sea.

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Eighty-four days of San Diego, nothing, but he was not discouraged, continued to go out to sea, and finally caught a rare big fish. On the way back, I encountered a shark group. When I arrived at the shore, the big fish had only one skeleton left. From an ecological point of view, the old man failed to fish in the sea and was defeated by nature.\n2. The struggle between the old man and the sea.

"The Old Man and the Sea" describes this: Santiago is ambitious and ready to go out to sea to catch a real big fish. He sailed alone and sailed deep into the sea. At noon that day, he caught a huge marlin. The big fish took him and his boat from north to east for two days and two nights, Santilla. Brother tried to tighten the fishing line and held it with great endurance and big fish.

On the third day near noon, he pulled the big fish up to the surface and stabbed it with a harpoon. Since the fish was longer than the ship, he had to carry the big fish at the boat and take it home. When he was holding the big marlin, a dolphin was sent to the door and killed by him to fill the hunger. Then, the companion sharks chased the big marlin's fishing rod and bite more than a thousand pounds of fish in one bite.

When Santiago returned to the fishing port, there was only one fish skeleton left. The ocean is the source of the survival of the elderly, and the sea raises fishermen on the beach including Santiago. However, in the hearts of the elderly, going to sea is to conquer the sea and conquer nature. Although he is lonely, he has a strong personality; although he is old, he has a healthy body.

The old man went fishing alone and began a struggle with the sea. More than 80 days in the sea, catching a large marlin, but this is far from the end of victory, more and more difficult battles are still behind. The struggle between the old man and the gray sharks and other sharks that symbolize the revenge of nature followed. The sharks went all the way to return to the fishing port, and finally the old man brought back the fish skeleton that symbolized success.

Third, the interpretation of the ecological consciousness of "The Old Man and the Sea". Advocating a simple life.\nAt the beginning of the 20th century, the industrial revolution reached its climax in the United States. A large number of cars have come to the countryside, mountains, villages and fields into road networks, which have been seriously damaged.

“Our ancestors went to the United States because it was a place worth visiting.” Hemingway wrote in The Green Hills of Africa, “It used to be a good place, but we made it a mess. Saving natural resources Santee The words that my brother said "a person can be destroyed, but cannot be defeated\", let the reader feel his courage and strength. [4] Such a strong-willed person is comfortable living a simple and simple life.

The author is describes his life: first, his fishing boat. He is an old man fishing alone on a flat-bottomed sailboat in the Gulf Stream. He used a flour bag to make some patches on the sails. It looks like a side after gathering. It marks the flag of failure forever. The second is his house. They walked along the road to the shack of the old man and walked in through the open door.

The old man leaned the mast around the sail on the wall, the boy put the wooden box and other homes Resting beside it. The mast is almost as long as the shack in this single room. On the brown wall covered with the sturdy flattened brown leaves, there is a colorful Jesus. Picture and another picture of the Virgin of Coflai. This is the relic of his wife. The wall once hangs a coloring picture of his wife, but he took it off because he thought he was too lonely, it is now The corner of the shelf was under his clean shirt.

Then it was his clothes. He didn’t know how many patches he had on his shirt, it was like his sail, and the patches were sun-dried into many different shades. The color is down. It’s his diet. When he was at home, he was his apprentice. The little boy Manolin sent him “black bean rice, fried bananas, and some stews.” Before the sea, the old man slowly drunk Coffee.

This is his whole day\'s diet. He knows that he should drink it. For a long time, eating has made him bored, so he never brought lunch. He put a bottle of water on the bow of the small sailboat. It only suffices to need this all day. When he needs to replenish his body during the fishing process, he eats tuna. He picks up half of the fish, puts it in his mouth, and slowly chews it. It is not difficult Eat.

Chew well, he thought, swallowing the juice If you add a little lime or lemon or salt, the taste will not be bad. In the early 1950s, after the end of the Second World War, six or seven years later, the US economy is gradually becoming more prosperous and prosperous. Americans began to pursue luxury and luxury, arbitrarily squandered, and greedy material enjoyment. Hemingway\'s image of a tough guy and the story\'s protagonist, Santiago, lived a near-primitive life, but never complained about his poor life.

The intention is self-evident. Hemingway hopes to promote a simple and economical way of life through the description of the simple life of Santiago, to oppose the infinite demand of mankind to nature, and to pursue the harmonious coexistence of mankind and nature. The resources of nature are rich. However, it is also limited. In history, human beings are proud of enjoying the luxury and luxury life, and there is no awareness of protecting the ecological balance.

This is because the predecessors’ ideological understanding is limited by historical conditions. This wrong thinking has also become human. Inertia thinking. The excessive consumption of natural resources by human beings has made today’s human beings deeply aware of its To disaster and suffering. The ecological consciousness expressed by Hemingway in his works is a forward-looking consciousness with far-sightedness and positive significance.\n2. Respect for non-human life.

"The Old Man and the Sea" shows the ecological consciousness of the protagonist San Diego who respects nature and respects human life. The old man always takes the ocean as a woman. She gives or does not want to give a great favor. If she does something that is willful or wicked, it is because she is not allowed to be herself. The moon has an effect on her, just like a woman. The ocean is kind and very beautiful. The old man praised the sea that symbolizes nature and showed his deep understanding and understanding of the natural world. It is because of his correct understanding of the natural world that his heart is full of love for the vast world of life.

The old people love flying fish very much because they are his main friends on the ocean. He is sad for the birds, especially the weak black terns, who are always flying, looking for food, but almost never found it, so he thinks that the life of the birds is more difficult than ours. In addition to those raptors and powerful big birds.

He is sad for all the turtles, even those that are as long as a small sailboat and weigh one ton. Most people are cruel to the turtles, because after a turtle is cut open and killed, its heart beats for several hours. He believes that among the sins, the culprits are the heaviest, and the merits are not to be killed. However, the old man thought, I also have such a heart, my hands and feet are the same as theirs. At night, two dolphins swam to the side of the boat, and he heard the sound of their tumbling and watering. He could tell the noise of the male's noisy water spray and the breath of the female's breath. "They are all good," he said.

Hemingway’s old fisherman, Santiago, respects all non-human life and puts himself, human life, and all non-human life on equal footing. In his eyes, flying fish, turtles, dolphins, birds, terns, and marlins are brothers of our humanity. Human beings are only an integral part of the natural world biosphere. They are no more noble or mean than other forms of life. Human beings have no right to destroy this biosphere.

The thoughts of Santiago have subverted the traditional anthropocentrism. This advanced ecological protection consciousness has very important warning and guiding significance for both the United States at that time and the economic globalization today. Centralism believes that mankind is the master of the earth and masters the power of life and death of all living things.

Human beings began to use all non-human life forms of animals on the earth as their own foodstuffs, and began to hunt for a close relative of human beings, monkeys, and began to hunt civet cats. Nature’s punishment for humanity is also coming, the Aids virus is spreading all over the world, and the Sars virus has taken thousands of lives in the short term. Isn’t it all human beings? The respect for non-human life in Hemingway's subconscious is the fundamental guarantee for humanity to maintain the continuation of life species on the earth and the key to protecting the ecological balance. The natural environment is the best tonic of human spirit, as the French writer Moaro said, “The most extensive and intimate refuge is nature”.

Rethinking Human Behavior

Santiago survived a three-day duel with the Marlins and was ready to drag his spoils home. He was repeatedly attacked by sharks on his way home. When he returned to the port, his Marlins were left. Fish head, fish tail and a spine. In the past, people commented that Santiago is a tragic hero. The shark\'s attack is regarded as a test of nature's humanity. Although Santiago is defeated, it tells people to dare to face failure and bravely accept the challenge. Does Hemingway want Santilla to win the AQ victory?

Obviously not. Or take a look at what San Diego is saying. When the marlins he caught were eaten by the sharks by a quarter and they were all good meat, he said, "I shouldn’t go so far to the sea, fish! It’s not good for you. I am sorry, fish." When the marlin was eaten half by the shark, he said: "Half fish. You turned out to be a complete fish. I am sorry that I am too far out of the sea. I am destroying you and me. When the marlin was eaten by sharks with only fish heads, fish tails and a spine, he shouted: "Everything is gone, just blame me for going too far into the sea." When the old man was attacked by sharks, I have realized my mistake.

That is, human beings have gone too far. They have entered the territory that they do not belong to themselves. They are offensive to nature and are inevitably punished by nature (the attack of sharks). Engels once said, "We should not be too fascinated by our victory in nature. For every such victory, the natural world has retaliated against us. Every victory has indeed achieved our expected results in the first step, but in the second. Steps and the third step have completely different and unexpected effects, often eliminating the first result."

In Hemingway's view, human beings and the natural world have their own territories and territories. Human beings should not go beyond their own boundaries to offend nature. Otherwise, human beings will be punished by nature and swallowed bitter fruit. "The idea of ​​ecological holism is the core idea of ​​ecological literature". Nature is a whole, and all species within the whole are related to each other, so we must examine people and everything from the perspective of ecological overall interests.

From the struggle between the old man and the sea, we can see the meaning: the old man killing the big marlin symbolizes the conquest of nature through wisdom and strength, while the shark attack symbolizes the revenge of nature on human beings, and finally makes Human society is in danger of being destroyed [9]. Marxist philosophy tells us: "People can use nature to transform nature, but not conquer nature." The attitude of the hero of the "Old Man and the Sea", Sandia, is: "A person can be destroyed, but cannot be defeated." This widely quoted quote is placed in the context of human society and is strictly limited to the scope of individual people. It may reflect the tragic heroic spirit, which is the so-called tough guy spirit of Hemingway-style heroes.

The reason why the sentence makes sense is obviously because it is not only for individual people. If it is put into the relationship between nature and human beings, its absurdity will fully manifest itself: people are destroyed, and what is unbeaten? So we Keep in mind that nature can be trampled, but not conquered. Naturally bred people, there must be some kind of law that binds him. In the novel, the old man discussed the reasons for the failure: "So what defeated you?"

"Nothing, just blame me for going too far into the sea." He said four times that "the sea is too far away", the famous American The literary theorist Hillis Miller once pointed out: "In a novel, it is not necessarily true to say two or more times, but the reader can calmly assume that it is meaningful." It is no accident that the recurrence of words in the text is not accidental, and the author intends to do so. Although this sentence is simple, it reflects Hemingway's natural ecological outlook.

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Interpretation of Ecological Consciousness in The Old Man and the Sea. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from

Interpretation of Ecological Consciousness in The Old Man and the Sea
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