WORD LISTS

"The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway

October 1, 2015
Santiago is a luckless Cuban fisherman who struggles to land a giant marlin. In spare, searing prose, Hemingway transforms the story of one man's battle with nature into a heroic ordeal.

Here is a link to our lists for A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
skiff
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
harpoon
It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast.
erosion
But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.
humility
“Thank you,” the old man said. He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. He knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.
relic
On the brown walls of the flattened, overlapping leaves of the sturdy fibered guano there was a picture in color of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and another of the Virgin of Cobre. These were relics of his wife.
bodega
“Pedrico gave it to me at the bodega," he explained.
resolution
“I may not be as strong as I think,” the old man said. “But I know many tricks and I have resolution.”
fathom
He saw the phosphorescence of the Gulf weed in the water as he rowed over the part of the ocean that the fishermen called the great well because there was a sudden deep of seven hundred fathoms where all sorts of fish congregated because of the swirl the current made against the steep walls of the floor of the ocean.
plummet
The boy had given him two fresh small tunas, or albacores, which hung on the two deepest lines like plummets and, on the others, he had a big blue runner and a yellow jack that had been used before; but they were in good condition still and had the excellent sardines to give them scent and attractiveness.
iridescent
But the bird was almost out of sight now and nothing showed on the surface of the water but some patches of yellow, sun-bleached Sargasso weed and the purple, formalized, iridescent, gelatinous bladder of a Portuguese man-of-war floating close beside the boat.
filament
It floated cheerfully as a bubble with its long deadly purple filaments trailing a yard behind it in the water.
carapace
The turtles saw them, approached them from the front, then shut their eyes so they were completely carapaced and ate them filaments and all.
churn
The tuna shone silver in the sun and after he had dropped back into the water another and another rose and they were jumping in all directions, churning the water and leaping in long jumps after the bait.
taut
Just then the stern line came taut under his foot, where he had kept a loop of the line, and he dropped his oars and felt the weight of the small tuna’s shivering pull as he held the line firm and commenced to haul it in.
myriad
The myriad flecks of the plankton were annulled now by the high sun and it was only the great deep prisms in the blue water that the old man saw now with his lines going straight down into the water that was a mile deep.
tentative
This time it was a tentative pull, not solid nor heavy, and he knew exactly what it was.
intolerable
The position actually was only somewhat less intolerable; but he thought of it as almost comfortable.
phosphorescent
The line showed like a phosphorescent streak in the water straight out from his shoulders.
scythe
He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape.
strain
In the darkness he loosened his sheath knife and taking all the strain of the fish on his left shoulder he leaned back and cut the line against the wood of the gunwale.
coagulate
The blood ran down his cheek a little way. But it coagulated and dried before it reached his chin and he worked his way back to the bow and rested against the wood.
teeter
He was too tired even to examine the line and he teetered on it as his delicate feet gripped it fast.
carcass
When he had cut six strips he spread them out on the wood of the bow, wiped his knife on his trousers, and lifted the carcass of the bonito by the tail and dropped it overboard.
rigor mortis
“How do you feel, hand?” he asked the cramped hand that was almost as stiff as rigor mortis.
conscientious
Slowly and conscientiously he ate all of the wedge-shaped strips of fish.
improvise
But what is his plan, he thought. And what is mine? Mine I must improvise to his because of his great size.
undulation
But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm.
rapier
His sword was as long as a baseball bat and tapered like a rapier and he rose his full length from the water and then re-entered it, smoothly, like a diver and the old man saw the great scythe-blade of his tail go under and the line commenced to race out.
noble
But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.
pilgrimage
“I am not religious,” he said. “But I will say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish, and I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre if I catch him.
burnish
When the fish was at the stern, plunging and cutting from side to side in desperation, the old man leaned over the stern and lifted the burnished gold fish with its purple spots over the stern.
perceptible
But watching the movement of the water against his hand he noted that it was perceptibly slower.
resistance
He was still bearing the pull of the fish across his shoulders but he placed his left hand on the gunwale of the bow and confided more and more of the resistance to the fish to the skiff itself.
maw
He felt the maw heavy and slippery in his hands and he slit it open.
cede
He was ceding line but more slowly all the time.
grudgingly
Then it started out and the old man knelt down and let it go grudgingly back into the dark water.
dorsal
His dorsal fin was down and his huge pectorals were spread wide.
placid
On each calm placid turn the fish made he was gaining line and he was sure that in two turns more he would have a chance to get the harpoon in.
agony
He took all his pain and what was left of his strength and his long gone pride and he put it against the fish’s agony
interminable
the fish came over onto his side and swam gently on his side, his bill almost touching the planking of the skiff and started to pass the boat, long, deep, wide, silver and barred with purple and interminable in the water.
summon
The old man dropped the line and put his foot on it and lifted the harpoon as high as he could and drove it down with all his strength, and more strength he had just summoned, into the fish’s side just behind the great chest fin that rose high in the air to the altitude of the man's chest.
wallow
Instead he lay there wallowing now in the seas and the old man pulled the skiff up onto him.
malignancy
He hit it with his blood mushed hands driving a good harpoon with all his strength. He hit it without hope but with resolution and complete malignancy.
mutilated
He did not like to look at the fish anymore since he had been mutilated. When the fish had been hit it was as though he himself were hit.
involuntarily
"Ay," he said aloud. There is no translation for this word and perhaps it is just a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the wood.
juncture
The line showed clearly on the top of his brown head and back where the brain joined the spinal cord and the old man drove the knife on the oar into the juncture, withdrew it, and drove it in again into the shark’s yellow cat-like eyes.
sever
It was an easy shot now and he felt the cartilage sever.
awash
Drained of blood and awash he looked the colour of the silver backing of a mirror and his stripes still showed.
sluggish
This time he felt the bone at the base of the brain and he hit him again in the same place while the shark tore the meat loose sluggishly and slid down from the fish.
proprietor
“What a fish it was,” the proprietor said.

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Wednesday October 7th 2015, 4:16 PM
Comment by: Lauren W. (VA)
Very interesting set of words. Definitely made me want to read the book!

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