Friday, October 12, 2012

The Stream –of- Consciousness Technique in The Old man and the Sea


The Stream –of- Consciousness Technique in “The Old man and the Sea”
            Hemmingway uses the stream of consciousness technique to describe Santiago’s wandering thoughts. Seeing an aeroplane, he expresses his wish to fly and see fish from above. He describes he once sat on the cross-trees of the mast
and watches the purple stripes and spots of dolphins. He goes on to meditate why dolphins have purple backs.
            Santiago moves from thought to thought when he thinks of the marlin swimming deep down the sea. Could the marlin see anything in the dark depths? This thought provokes him to recall his younger days when his eye sight was sharp like that of a horse or cat and he could see in the dark.
            When Santiago struggles with the marlin, he feels very tired and thinks of the football match between the Yankees of New York and the Tigers of Detroit. He thinks particularly of the champion player Di Maggio who endured the pain of the bone spur in his heel and rose to great heights. He recalls his playing the hand game for more than a day continuously against powerful negro and finally forcing his hand down and getting the title El. Campenon or the Champion.
            When Santiago catches the marlin, he feels sorry for wishing to kill the beautiful fish. He then feels happy that beautiful things like the sun, the moon, and stars are safe from man’s destructive powers. There are yet quite a good number of examples for stream of consciousness in the novel and Hemmingway has made use of this technique effectively.