In “The Pearl”, “Derzu Uzala”, and the “Old Man and the Sea”, the protagonists are faced with life threatening situations which test their intelligence and their physical and emotional strength. What is each man’s struggle about and how does each one confront the challenges before him?
Which man do you admire the most?
In “The Pearl”, “Derzu Uzala”, and the “Old Man and the Sea”, the protagonists are faced with life threatening situations which test their intelligence and their physical and emotional strength. In life we all have threatening situations but we all try to face them, even though they are very scary situations, dramatic situations we all look forward to resolving them. Usually people face problems using modern communications, objects and sometimes words but three film directors and writers have tried to show the world how really people should resolve struggles by placing three very unique stories and turning them into parables. Everyone has to struggle to get something, but in the end, the person might or might not achieve their goal. The biggest defeat or accomplishment happens in their minds. Like for example, Santiago does get the fish but sharks eat it. So Santiago does accomplish his goal of getting the marlin. In this essay, I will try to show you how each man deals with the struggle facing him.
The struggle which takes place in ‘The Pearl’, is between Kino and the pearl. Kino is convinced that the pearl will bring only good but Juana doesn’t have the same opinion. So one of the struggles is with Juana. In chapter five Juana takes the pearl and tries to throw it into the sea, because she says that the pearl is evil. Kino becomes more aggressive and he hurts Juana. Juana doesn’t argue because she thinks Kino is a man, and a man is always right.
Another conflict is between Kino and himself because on the one hand Kino can feel the danger and the evil that the pearl brings, but on the other hand he thinks that it will change their lives in a good way. The last fight is between Kino and all the townspeople. Everyone wants the pearl, but the people who want the pearl most and are prepared to attack and kill him, are the doctor and the pearl buyers. Even though Kino senses the danger he says that now the pearl has become his soul and he will keep it. Steinbeck makes the struggle evident with figurative language, similes and metaphors which make the storytelling more complicated and intense. He uses symbolism and juxtaposition to highlight the contrasts. Another way that Steinbeck makes this struggle evident is by expressing Kino’s feelings with songs. For example, “And as he filled his basket the song was in Kino, and the beat of the song was his pounding heart as it ate the oxygen from his held breath, and the melody of the song was the grey-green water and the little scuffling animals and the clouds of fish that flitted by and were gone.”
In the description of the song Kino is swimming under the sea and he is excited. You can understand this because his heart is pounding to the beat of his music. Steinbeck has used an intelligent way to express the feelings of Kino. I liked mostly the personification that he used for the pearl. The pearl ‘winked and glimmered’, or ‘gloated triumphantly’, or was ‘warm and alive’. By giving human qualities to the pearl he makes it very clear that the struggle is not just between Kino and an object but that the pearl has a soul and a will of its own.
In the film “Derzu Uzala” Derzu had great respect for the forest, animals, people and the forest spirit. He showed it in many ways like when he called the fire “man of fire’ or water, “man of water” and the wind was “man of wind”. He said that animals can not be killed for
sport but only for survival. He believed that if a tiger is killed, the spirit of the forest
(Kanga) would send another tiger to take revenge. So by this level Derzu, staying in the kanga for so long has learnt its traits but for certain he has encountered moments of struggle that test his intelligence as we see in the film when he is almost carried away by the wind and struggles to defeat this very strong “man” and soon creates a shelter that protects him and the captain Arseniev from this atmospheric enemy. But the biggest and most essential struggle Derzu over goes is the surviving in the Siberian Wilderness. He survives this struggle because he knows, like I said before, very well the forest and nature. His one mistake though is that he trusts everyone since maybe in the forest Derzu was used to trust anyone but he did not know what really was his false identity.
In the famous novel by John Steinbeck ” The Old Man and the Sea” Santiago is an old, is trusting and optimistic because he always leaves his door open and thinks that no one will steal from him. He even thinks that every day is a new day and may be his lucky day. Santiago is a bit of a philosopher because he wonders why some birds who live out on the big ocean are made so small and delicate yet have to live such a hard life. He also feels sorry for the poor turtles. The turtles tell us more about Santiago’s compassion when he says, “Most people are heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after he has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too and my feet and hands are like theirs.” Santiago faces struggle every holy day of his life but the main one is between him and the marlin.
His wish was to catch a marlin, a big marlin. In this story Santiago over goes one of his most sensational struggles, or rather the one in which he has to capture a huge marlin and fight over his will. Even after three harsh and rough days with cuts and bleeds, Santiago doesn’t give up but continues and lets the marlin drag the boat. In the end, Santiago overcomes his mental struggle to capture the marlin. Some words that I remember Santiago saying are, ‘I will fight till I die.’ He is so determined. He thinks luck is very important but I think his determination helps him get the marlin.
So which man do I admire the most? Well, by thinking fondly and deeply I have come to a closing stage, the man I admire the most is Kino in “The Pearl”. Even though he went through the most hard struggle and did not learn what was right he still fought to eternity. Even though he brought misery to his family and endangered lives he still is an idol of the English literature. He fought with himself and his precious item, the pearl, he loved his family but brought misery on them, he wanted to save himself and his relatives but failed on this too, but the reason I admire him the most is because he went through the biggest struggle and tried his best to win over it. He may have done some huge errors but from them he learnt that life is a struggle itself and that we must be strong to confront it. This is why I think highly of Kino. Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets. I could terminate this essay by declaring that whatever the struggle, continue the climb. It may be only one step to the summit.