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    #1

    Is this sentence written by Hemingway ambiguous?

    In "The Old Man and the Sea", Chapter one, there is a sentence, Santiago said to the boy: "I know you did not leave me because you doubted." when the boy's parents asked him to fish in another boat, because Santiago didn't got any fish in the 40 days.
    According to the context I believe this sentence means "I know you left me not because you doubted."
    But it's easy to literally understand this sentence in this way:"You didn't leave me, because you doubted. I know that." But this is totally wrong.

    Is this sort of sentence common? or is it indeed an ambiguity?

    By the way, did you read this book? Who is "Rogelio"? this person appeared only once in Chapter one, when Santiago declined the boy's sardines, he said:"I can still row and Rogelio will throw the net." So I guess Rogelio is someone who can help the old man throw the net, but from beginning to end, the old man fished alone! Nobody was with him... So, I'm confused.

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    #2

    Re: Is this sentence written by Hemingway ambiguous?

    Quote Originally Posted by registered View Post
    In "The Old Man and the Sea", Chapter one, there is a sentence, Santiago said to the boy: "I know you did not leave me because you doubted." when the boy's parents asked him to fish in another boat, because Santiago didn't got any fish in the 40 days.
    According to the context I believe this sentence means "I know you left me not because you doubted."
    But it's easy to literally understand this sentence in this way:"You didn't leave me, because you doubted. I know that." But this is totally wrong.

    Is this sort of sentence common? or is it indeed an ambiguity?

    By the way, did you read this book? Who is "Rogelio"? this person appeared only once in Chapter one, when Santiago declined the boy's sardines, he said:"I can still row and Rogelio will throw the net." So I guess Rogelio is someone who can help the old man throw the net, but from beginning to end, the old man fished alone! Nobody was with him... So, I'm confused.
    Yes, sentences like that are common. Sometimes they are ambiguous, but you can usually work out the meaning. This one means "You left me, but not because you doubted me, which you didn't." But you can only tell that from the context. Without a context, you don't know whether the boy left, or whether the boy doubted.

    I don't remember Rogelio, but there's a possibility that Santiago was just saying this so that the boy wouldn't worry about him.

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    #3

    Re: Is this sentence written by Hemingway ambiguous?

    Ambiguity is common- we have a meaning in our head and say or write something without thinking of other possible interpretations. Fortunately, context often comes to our rescue.

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