Old Man at the Bridge by Ernest Hemingway as a short story about war

7/07/2017 0 Comments A+ a-

War story usually highlights the happenings of war. The deaths of the soldiers, the condition of the soldiers, the condition of the common people who actually suffers at the end. People had to move from one place to another for the sake of their life.




In this story the narrator is a nameless soldier man . The setting of the story shows the on going war and the capture done by the enemies. The nameless soldier's work is to check the progress of the enemies. In his way to check the progress he finds an old man sitting on the bridge.  Whom he encounters at the same position when he returns. He starts a conversation with the old man he finds out that the old man has left behind his animals who were his only family. The writer is trying to show his reader the displacement that took place during the war. How people had to leave behind things, animals , belongings and good memories behind and run for their lives. How the common mass was affected mostly who weren't even part of the war. He highlights the death and depression due to war. Through the ongoing conversation we find out that the old man wasn't much concerned about the cat which is usually seen as an independent creature who can take care of its own. Not about his pigeon who converts into dove in the end of the story symbolizing peace.
 He tells that they must have flew away as their cage was open symbolizing freedomHe tells he is worried of the goat as it also symbolizes himself, the sacrificial animal who suffers for the benefit of the other. They are talking on a bridge which symbolizes the connection of old with the new life. Like every old man, this man is also more interested about his old life, his animals, the memories he made, the place he owned rather then venturing into his new life which will be short and fruitless. It is hard to go and settle and after sometime to move from that place too. It is hard to try and create everything from the beginning and let go of it again and move. Its real hard to keep being optimistic every time something like this happens there are people who give up. Just like the old man he is giving up not wanting to move forward in-spite of the enemies coming towards him. He doesn't want to connect his old life with the new that is why he is sitting on the bridge not wanting to move forward.

This story therefore can be said a war story because it highlights the happenings of the war on the common mass. How they suffer for things they didn't do. When the man says he was only taking care of his animals showing be had no roles in the political affairs. He was a simple minded man but he suffered the greatest lost of losing his place, his identity,his hope, his people even his animals.

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