Quote: “You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother. Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who.”
Question: What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you read this quote?
Mutual respect. We see the strengths, weaknesses, and struggles of being beings on this planet together. It's like the part of the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue," right after they fight and they "come away with a different point of view." They have a new found respect for one another.
First thing that comes to mind is a bomb set. A beautiful (but scary) sight. A big wave might kill me...or I might kill it (by riding it). Either outcome is possible, either outcome is acceptable.
First of all... great choice this month. Was my first read through this one.
At this stage in the story Santiago is deeply invested in the battle. He calls the fish brother and gives it the qualities of a worthy and dignified opponent. He says no person would be worthy to eat its flesh. This fish is clearly not being caught for merchandise. This battle is one of his pride against the mighty sea (likely a metaphor for the chaos of the unknown). The reader knows the old man is weak, ill-prepared, and probably shouldn't be out alone. He thinks often of the great DiMaggio and how with his own handicap still triumphs over the game (life). Santiago is stubborn yet also quite clever as old men typically are when they face adversity. His pride will likely kill him one day, but as long as he maintains his coils and keeps his head he feels in control. Thats what the quote above made me think of at the time of reading it.
Makes me think of the reverence that William Burroughs gives to heroin in Junky. There is no thing better than junk to him even though it causes him great pain and may kill him. Same with Santiago and the fish.