The Old Man And Eyes Were Watching God (Comparative And Contrast Essay)


Upon hearing the name Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast, memories of the arrogant a man pressuring Belle comes to mind. Gaston's good looks and reputation as a soldier inflame his pride and makes him believe that anyone would love him. His excessive pride leads him to rescue Belle just to further fuel his ego. While on his journey to rescue her, his pride makes him oblivious to obviously immoral acts such as leaving Maurice to the wolves and afterwards trying to send him to an asylum. A similar situation is observed in Ernest Hemingway's novella, The Old Man and the Sea, and Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. The shared message of both texts is that a person's pride facilitates doing wrongful actions because pride blinds a person from looking at the impact of their actions.

A person's pride facilitates doing wrongful actions because pride blinds a person from looking at the impact of their actions on themselves. When Janie said that Jody made it look as though he did not like to laugh and play, jody defended himself and said he "made out no such lie!" he just does not like people in his town who are content with "uh fully belly and uh place tuh lay down." Jody admits that sometimes they say things that "tickles me nearly tuh death" but he does not laugh just to "did-encourage 'em." (Hurston 63) Through Jody's condescending words, it is implied that his pride blinds him and makes him believe that he is superior to others. He thinks that it is his job to set people on the "right" path by making them think like him. This is a wrongful action because it is his townspeople who made him mayor, and he has to respect them because he would not be mayor without their support. Jody's prideful actions had a huge impact on himself because Janie now thinks that he is too serious and is not a fun person to be around. A similar situation can be seen with Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea. While Santiago was resting after catching the Marlin, he thought that he "violated your luck when you went too far outside" (Hemingway 116) In other words, Santiago realises that his pride blinded him and made him go too "far outside" by killing the fish. This proves that Santiago's pride made it easier for him to kill the Marlin and, at the time, he could not see that by exercising his pride, he negatively impacted himself by violating his own luck.

By being prideful he went beyond what was his destiny, just to catch the fish. Overall, pride makes people oblivious to seeing the impact of their actions on themselves. A person's pride facilitates doing wrongful actions because pride blinds a person from looking at the impact of their actions on others. When Janie was listening to the others having a conversation, the thought about how she "loved conversations… but Joe had forbidden her to indulge," even though he does. He did not want to take after "trashy people" because he does not know why someone of "yo stability would want tuh be treasurin’ all that gum-grease from folks dat don’t even own de house dey sleep in…" (Hurston 53) It is obvious that Joe is so full of pride that he is oblivious to the double standard he has set for Janie, and he does not notice the hypocrisy in his words. His pride blinded him from seeing that his wrongful action is impacting his wife by making her slowly begin to dislike Jody's controlling and chauvinistic nature. A similar situation can be seen with Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea. After Santiago catches the fish, he talks to it to express how he "ruined us [Santiago and the Marlin] both" because he "had killed many sharks… and ruined many others." (Hemingway 116) This makes it obvious that Santiago's prideful actions made him commit many wrongful actions such as killing the marlin, sharks, and impacting many others. When he was at the peak of his pride, he could not see this impact on others, and that made it easier for him to commit these atrocious actions. This proves that, overall, pride lets people commit unfair actions because it blinds people from looking at the impact of their actions on others.In Ernest Hemingway's novella, The Old Man and the Sea, and Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The shared message is that an individual's pride encourages doing unfair activities since pride blinds them from considering the impact of their actions. A person's actions committed in pride can impact themselves by lowering their reputation in the eyes of themselves and others. An individual's pride can also impact others by making them feel unworthy or by physically harming them. This leads to the conclusion  that pride is a toxic trait that can be detrimental to both the person possessing the characteristic and others around them.

 

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