When I think about it, the old man sort of reminds me of my room. I know that sounds pretty strange, but just stay with me for a minute, you have not seen my room. If you had (which would be a little odd), you would understand what I am talking about.
First, a description of my room might be helpful. Olive green walls, grey carpet, and a celing fan the refuses to work. There is an antique desk sitting right next to a nearly new Marshall half-stack. The mirror and cork board are covered in odd notes such as "Poeticly speaking, I accidently killed you. Sorry." There are sea shells and paintings of Brazil and Bohemian masks. Not to mention an entire pile of other things waiting to be hung on the walls.
The old man seems to me like a strange collection of experiences and qualities. You have sailing off the coast of Africa, eyes that hurt in the morning, arm wrestling contests, and loving turtles (Hemingway 16-36). He is a baseball fan, a fisherman, and a loving friend (Hemingway 15). He once had a wife (Hemingway 14). Dreams of lions and so many other different things all in the same person (Hemingway 18). Some of them seem like they should not go together, but somehow they all fit in just fine with each other. When you look at one or two individual pieces, it is hard to see. When you look at them all together, it is very easy to see the long and interesting life of an old fisherman.
When compared to my room, it is sort of the same. All of the strange things seem a little unconnected, but they are still all together in my room. They are where I have been and where I am going. The old man's life fits together the same way. I think thats what makes him so realistic. He is and has done so many different things, just like real people. Real people can not be put in a small labeled box, and neither can the old man.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.