“My Great Fish” Essay
“But we can’t live in the light all of the time. You have to take whatever light you can hold into the dark with you” (Libba Bray). As Bray says in this quote, hard times are like darkness and we need to take the light/ good times in our lives and bring them into the hard, dark times to overcome them with lightness. Obstacles are like hard times in your life and what makes them turn light again is how you choose to overcome them. In the book, The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago (the old man) faces many obstacles while trying to break his bad luck of not catching a fish and reeling in the gigantic marlin. During his struggle of catching the fish Santiago faced many obstacles such as: hunger, thirst, cramped hands, and sharks. These obstacles left the reader to find out if Santiago would live, or catch the marlin. But as the reader read they would find out that Santiago would overcome his many obstacles and catch the great marlin, only to have it eaten by sharks. Even though the marlin was eaten Santiago did live. In the following paragraphs of “My Great Fsh” essay I will be describing and comparing Santiago’s and my own obstacles that we both had to overcome in our lives.
During my life I have encountered many obstacles that I have had to overcome. But, the obstacle that I have decided to write about and compare to Santiagos is one that many people go through in their lives and that I know that people I know are dealing with. “My Great Fish” obstacle is that I am a freshman. Being a freshman and the youngest in the high school is an obstacle to me and others who have gone through being a 9th grader because when you are the new kids in the school you are looked down on. For example the upper classmen think you're immature, and can’t do anything with them because your freshman. Also, sometimes being a freshman also affects your sports. I have heard of certain sports coaches not allowing freshman to be on a varsity team because they don’t think we can handle it, or coaches just simply tend to favorite the upperclass men. All the freshman class and myself are still dealing with this obstacle and hopefully will overcome it soon when we become sophomores in a couple months, and a new group of freshman come to the high school. Being a freshman doesn't bother me as much as it does other people i know but sometimes it does get annoying when you're looked down upon for being younger and new.
Still being a freshman now shows that I have not overcome my “Great fish” yet. But soon my classmates and I will become sophomores and the incoming group of freshman will have to deal with this obstacle too and following groups of freshman too. Even though we haven’t overcame our obstacle people who have helped us freshman get through the conflicts and are my “turtles” would be my friends, and classmates. I consider them my “turtles” because they understand what it feels like being a freshman and can go through the obstacle with you. I see my “sharks” as the upperclassmen because they instigate the obstacle by being hard on the underclass men because when they were freshmen they were treated different for being freshmen, and once we become upperclassmen we probably will be hard on the freshman too.
My struggle with being a freshman is like Santiago’s because one of his his struggles was dealing with people on the island thinking badly of him, like the young boys dad not letting the young boy work for Santiago anymore because he thought he was unlucky because he hadn’t caught a fish in a while. Is infact like my struggle with being a freshman because Santiago and I are both trying to break peoples opinions of us and to create a new identity for ourselves, like Santiago not wanting to be known as the unlucky fisher and me not to be known as the little freshman. Santiago moved away from his problem by going out everyday, even without the help of the young boy and trying to catch a fish and when he finally did he risked his life trying to capture it. I do agree with how Santago went among fixing his problem because Santago didn’t listen to what the people on the island had to say about him all he cared about was fishing, and in the end it worked out for him because he caught the fish and got the young boy back.
I think that Hemingways main message that he showed in Santiagos struggle was that you can’t let people define who you are, that you need to create that identity for yourself. Just like my classmates and I try to do, we try to move away from that freshman role we are cast to play when we enter the high school and move into our own personal identities. Someone, like myself can learn and relate to Santiagos struggle in the story because we just need to learn that we create who we are, not others.
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