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Is my preference for Ernest becoming obvious?

He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things about her but they always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen,those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as el mar which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.[1]

My girlfriend said the moral of this book is that life is meaningless and all the old man’s struggles were for nothing. I disagreed, and said that the struggle – even when faced with defeat – is the thing that gives meaning to the old man’s life.
I’m of course eager to hear other opinions.

P.S. for other life lessons in manliness from the Old Man and the Sea, I refer you to this post at the Art of Manliness. They already wrote about it so I don’t have to. How kind of them. Ciao.

[1]Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952; New Delhi, 2012), 19.