He talks to the bird that alights upon his line to take rest, to the hand as it cramps. His conversation on these occasions is amusing and witty and at the same time thought provoking. Most instructive and penetrating are, however, his jibes at himself. It is here that he takes stock of things, thrashes and analyses. He gets at the truth at one leap that is enlightening not only to himself but also the reader. Some times his thinking aloud becomes so realistic a sort of vocal current in the stream of subconscious. It is inclusive of all his experience, his desires, his ambitions, his pride, his disappointments and his courage. It is through these communing that we get at the real man in him. These are most revealing in nature and perhaps the most important part of the novel.
He now gains line with every circle, forcing the fish to come closer with every round. As the fish comes alongside, he pulls with all his strength, and turns “part way over” but then it rights itself and swims away. It happens several times. The old man says, “Fish you are going to have to die any way. Do you have to kill me too?” he is so enamoured of the beauty and nobility of the fish that the calls it a brother. He even goes on to say, “Come on and kill me. I don’t care who kills who.” As the fish, now tired and exhausted, comes along side, he drops the line, puts his foot on it, lifts the harpoon as high as he can and drives it down with all his might “in to the fish’s side just behind the great chest fin.” He feels the iron go in and pushes “all his weight after it.” There oozes out a cloud of blood from the fish’s heart. It is dead. Soon it is afloat, green, golden and silver. The greatest adventure on sea has been accomplished although it is by no means the end of old man’s labour and struggle.