《老人與海》

《老人與海》

楊旭平

 

一、本書回顧

 

《老人與海》的故事是在描寫一位名叫山蒂埃戈的古巴老漁夫,在墨西哥灣駕駛小木船出海垂釣,因為霉運當頭,釣不到魚。但是他並不心灰意冷,他對自己有信心,他期待著未來的收穫。

老漁夫有一個忘年之交的好朋友,是一個可愛、心地善良的小男孩。在老漁夫與小男孩純真的對話裡,他娓娓道出他與海洋奮鬥的過去。

 

老漁夫山蒂埃戈在海上,前後有八十四天之久都釣不到一條魚,但是他仍不氣餒。 到了第八十五天再出海垂釣,居然發生了有生以來從未曾遇到過的大事──他釣到了一條大魚,比他所駕駛的小木船還長。但大魚一上鉤後,牠就使出渾身力氣,拖著小船往外洋潛游,雖然經過了四小時,牠卻依然精力旺盛。此刻老漁夫還沒看到牠的真面目,只能沉著應變,但他絕不割斷繩索放棄,雙手堅持拉緊,絕不放鬆繩索,他決心跟大魚搏鬥到底。 此時老漁夫沒有任何外來的援助,他還得忍受口渴、饑餓、疲勞、睏頓的煎熬, 老漁夫所能依靠的只有自己永不被打敗的堅強意志。他獨自在小船上,採取的策略是「步步為營」的「緩兵之計」,等待大魚筋疲力竭時,再來制伏牠,也就是一場比體力、耐力的消耗戰。

 

當老漁夫在海上跟大魚奮鬥了兩天兩夜後,最後決勝負的時刻終於到來了。 拖著小船和老漁夫潛逃的大魚,突然使出渾身力氣從海水中,躍騰滾翻、掙扎, 老漁夫不幸被拖倒在船底,臉部受傷,手掌皮開肉綻,鮮血直流。他警覺到, 最後決戰的時刻終於到了,老漁夫依然堅定自己的意志,絕不放鬆染紅鮮血的釣繩, 就是到死,他也絕不放手,他已釋出所有的力氣,正一尺一尺收回釣繩,把大魚拉到小船旁邊; 他用尖銳的魚叉戳破大魚的心臟,制伏了大魚。此時筋疲力竭的老漁夫已無能為力, 如果只靠自己的力量,將比小船還大的「戰利品」──一條十八英呎長的巨大馬林魚(旗魚)拉上小漁船,即使能勉強把牠拖上船,說不定大魚的重量也會把小船壓沉。

 

所以老漁夫只得用繩索把捕獲的大魚,繫在小船船舷,拖曳回航。 但是,想不到從已死的大魚傷口中流出的血水,卻引來老漁夫與貪殘鯊魚的另一場生死戰鬥。 牠們聞到血腥味兒,成群而來,非常凶猛,爭先恐後的啃食老漁夫千辛萬苦釣到的大魚。 老漁夫只有猛揮棍棒,打擊鯊魚,接受另一場新的挑戰。然而,前仆後繼的鯊魚群, 卻把老漁夫所捕獲的大魚,啃食了只剩下長長白白的脊椎骨骸。

 

最後,老漁夫平安返航,回到了家,疲憊萬分的倒在床上沉睡。但是,他帶回來的只是繫在小船旁邊的大魚骨骸,讓村人比手畫腳的談論。最後,象徵老漁夫老當益壯,戰勝大自然的「大魚」,卻只剩下了白骨,成為隨潮水漂流的「垃圾」。

 

二、閱讀心得

 

《老人與海》是二十世紀的美國已故作家海明威文筆生涯的登峰造極之作。 這一篇只有兩萬六千五百三十一個字的短篇小說, 題材和情節的構想,卻在他的腦海裡足足醞釀了十五年之久。藉由這部傑作,他在1954年12月,獲得了文學創作的最高榮譽──諾貝爾文學獎。

 

其實《老人與海》的故事情節,極為單純,主角是一位歷盡滄桑的孤獨漁夫,和一條罕見的巨大馬林魚,在汪洋中的生死對決。最後老漁夫雖然獲勝,但是故事的結局並不是「勝利者的凱旋榮歸」,而是「勝利者一無所獲」,或許這正是海明威要表達的虛幻的人生觀吧!

人生的一切榮華富貴,都將會隨著時間的逝去,消失無蹤。人活著是為了什麼? 該為什麼樣的理想奮進?窮畢生之心力,奮鬥上進的目的是為什麼呢?這是海明威所觸發一個發人深省的問題。

 

基本上海明威的作品是一個真實的人生體驗;他曾經親歷激烈的第二次世界大戰,在歐洲戰場上出生入死。在長期停筆後,隱居在古巴的小漁村,經常出海垂釣,由於他天天都駕駛遊艇出海,放長線釣旗魚(又叫馬林魚)。所以他從航海釣大魚的經驗裡,了解到墨西哥灣的海流、海洋生態。所以海明威在書中描寫的海洋冒險的細節,絕不是杜撰的,而是他真實的體驗:細心觀察海洋,與對神祕海洋的深思熟慮所呈現的紀錄。經由累積了豐富的海釣經驗後,他終於完成了這一部曠世名著。

 

海明威在文中的描寫,都以老漁夫的觀點來描述:水連天的茫茫汪洋,海上的日出、日落, 白天的酷熱陽光,飛翔的海鷗,飛魚躍出海面展翅的聲音,滑翔的優美姿態………等海上的一切, 都是寂寞老漁夫的「好友」,這也是老人家傾訴的對象。老漁夫在海上,會不時喃喃自語,那也正是他發自內心的感觸。海明威寫大海的千變萬化,精練的文字,這些都表達了他多年來在海上生活累積的經驗。

 

由於在悲慘的第一次世界大戰過後,接踵而來的,是經濟蕭條、人性的頹廢,更可怕的是極權主義的抬頭,侵略戰爭又可能將爆發。海明威活在那一個時代裡,身不由己的捲入更慘烈的第二次世界大戰中。經過第二次世界大戰的煎熬,海明威在他的作品裡顯露中「悲情的寫實主義」理念,所創作的作品有:長篇小說《旭日東昇》(1926)、《戰地春夢》(1929)、《戰地鐘聲》(1940)等長篇小說, 都帶有濃厚的灰暗、陰沉的色彩。而隱藏在海明威內心深處的「悲情寫實主義」的寫作技巧, 在《老人與海》的人物描述中,更是發揮得淋漓盡致。

 

戰後,海明威筆下所出現的人物,都是拋開一切傳統的善惡、道德的藩籬,強調人生是強者得勝;但是對於失敗者,他也毫不留情,所以在海明威的所有作品中,不斷呈獻的風格是剛毅的、戰鬥的、勇敢的面對死亡的挑戰,這正是令人值得品味之處。

 

另外,和極大多數巨著一樣,海明威的這篇小說讀起來可有不止一層的意思。

一方面,這是一個激動人心的帶有悲劇性的冒險故事。故事講到一個精神沮喪的老漁人,在他對職業的自豪感(他留下的唯一自豪感)的支持之下,冒險遠航至墨西哥灣流並在那裡釣住了一條該水域中從未見過的最大的馬林魚。故事接著說到他孤零零地、在因奮力叉住這條大魚而耗盡了力氣之後,被迫投入一場和一群海盜似的鯊魚的絕望的搏斗之中,結果是那些鯊魚只給他留下了獵獲物的一具骨架。

 

另一方面,這又是一個寓言,它描述了人所具有的不可征服的精神力量……一個人如何從災難和實際失敗的環境中攫取精神上的勝利,這有著動人的情節,充滿象徵的意義。

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