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The novels The Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises are both written by Ernest Hemingway. Some of the aspects of the stories are similar, and some are different. Each book presents a character that has been alienated, but the method used to present the character varies.
The most obvious similarity between the two books is the author. This similarity leads to several others since Hemingway seems to have a certain writing style that can be found in all of his works. For instance, both stories are written in a very concise manner. The sentences are short and to the point, and he doesn’t add any unnecessary words. After a first reading, the sentences even seem drab and emotionless. Another similarity between the books that could be due to the author’s writing style is the lack of physical description for the characters. In most books, a mental image can be formed of the characters, but in Hemingway’s novels, the physical portion of the image is hard to form. Both of the books also seemed to lack closure and resolution at the end. The endings left the reader to believe that none of the events that occurred during the story had any effect on the characters. In both books, the characters went on living as they always had.
Even with all the similarities in the two novels, there was plenty of room left for differences. The setting was one noticeable difference. In The Sun Also Rises, the setting changed a lot. It moved from country to country, and from city to city. There were so many different places in the book that it was hard to keep track of all of them. On the other hand, The Old Man and the Sea, had only one setting. Another difference can be found in the importance of vocations and money. In The Sun Also Rises, the characters didn’t have a strong vocation. The characters had money, but the reader never really knew how they got it. In The Old Man and the Sea, the whole book was centered around vocation. It stressed the need for money and how important Santiago’s vocation was for survival.
Other differences in the novels centered around the presentation of the alienated character. In The Old Man and the Sea, the book was written from the point of view of Santiago, the character that was alienated.
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Ernest Hemingway did a fairly good job at presenting alienation in both of his novels. It was especially easy to notice the alienation in The Old Man and the Sea. This was because throughout the whole novel, Santiago was alone. He fished alone, he lived alone, and the villagers didn’t pay much heed to him. He wasn’t alienated in a bad way, and he didn’t seem to mind that he was often alone. The alienation in The Sun Also Rises was a little harder to notice at first. This was mainly because of the point of view that the story was told in. The reader didn’t really know exactly how Robert Kohn was feeling and thinking, so the alienation was presented through the thought and actions of the other characters (mainly Jake). Overall, the presentation of the alienated characters proved to be effective.
Ernest Hemingway has a writing style that creates numerous similarities between his books. However, each book is unique in its plot and setting, and each book presents alienation in a different way.