Literary critics refer Hemingway to realistic writers. Defining the task of the master of the word, the great American wrote: “… It is always to write truthfully, and comprehend the truth, to express it so that it enters the reader’s consciousness as part of his own experience.” It was truthfulness that became the basis of his creative manner. However, he understood it not as a naturalistic description, but as a re-creation of truth by the power of the writer’s imagination, which is based on the observation of life. “In the Old and the Sea,” Hemingway noted, “I was trying to create a real old man, a real boy, a real sea, real fish and real sharks.” This reality meant not copying a specific vital material, but transferring the essence of life through the prism of one’s own imagination. That is why readers get the impression of authenticity of events. “Reading the Old Man,” we feel the breath of the mighty ocean, which
shimmers before our eyes with its multicolor, peer into the mysterious, incomprehensible depth of the Gulf Stream, empathize with the old man whose hand is stiff and which pulls the line with all his strength, satisfy hunger with raw pieces of tuna, with fury pounding everything that comes to hand, on the heads of sharks… “
Among the characteristic features of the “telegraphic style” of the writer, researchers call the accuracy and laconicism of the language, cold restraint in the descriptions of tragic and extreme situations, the ultimate concreteness of artistic details, the ability to omit the optional. Hemingway himself noted as early as 1932: “If a writer knows well what he writes about, he can skip a lot of what he knows, and if he writes truthfully, the reader will feel everything missed as much as if the writer The greatness of the iceberg’s movement is that it rises only one-eighth above the surface of the water. ” The method developed by the writer entered the history of literature called the “iceberg principle”. Its essence is that a huge weight
is attached to the subtext. As you remember from the 9th grade, so they call the hidden meaning of the utterance, which the attentive reader deciphers by means of details, hints, symbols. It is this material of the work that resembles that much larger part of the iceberg, which is hidden under water and enchants with its mystery.
Hemingway’s style is also characterized by the widespread use of leitmotifs. So, one of the leitmotifs is the constant mentioning of the name Di Maggio. For the first time, we learn about him at the beginning of the story, when the old man and the boy are talking about baseball. So, it becomes known that this is the name of the famous baseball player. Subsequently, Santiago mentally constantly turns to him.
Who is this mysterious Di Maggio? Just a famous athlete admired by Santiago, or the role of this image in revealing the writer’s intent is more significant? To comprehend the depth of thought of the author will help such comments:
The name Di Maggio is an association with a certain period of US life – the second half of the 40s of the 20th century, when DiMaggio was popular. Cuba, where the events of the work occur, was still part of the United States. Baseball is considered an American national sport. A typical feature of Americans is the love of baseball. That’s why the idols of the nation were often baseball players. The name Di Maggio is associated with another national idol – Marilyn Monroe, whose husband he was. They both embodied the implementation of the principle of “equal opportunities” in practice, according to which people from the lowest strata of the population can become celebrities.
Thus, the comments enable the reader to realize not only the consonance of the characters of Santiago and Di Maggio, but also the work “The Old Man and the Sea” as a text born in American culture and reflecting its spirit.
It should be noted that the writer’s favorite literary heroes were hunters, sportsmen, boxers, soldiers. All of them do not complain about life and do not expect sympathy, show courage and are able to stand up for themselves, while remaining honest and noble even in relation to the enemy. In the scientific literature they are often called “heroes of the code,” thereby emphasizing that these characters adhere to the above rules of “fair play.” Hemingway often depicted people in an extreme situation, when their character is clearly revealed, the most intimate corners of their souls are illuminated.