There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.
(Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author. letter, Sept. 13, 1952, to the critic Bernard Berenson. Selected Letters, ed. Carlos Baker (1981).
Of The Old Man and the Sea published that year.)
This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time.
(Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960), British Labour politician. Speech, May 24, 1945, Blackpool. Quoted in Daily Herald (London, May 25, 1945).
Bevan's speech occurred on the day when Churchill announced the formation of a Conservative "caretaker" government in the wake of V.E. Day and the dissolution of the wartime coalition. The Conservatives were to be ejected from office two months later following a landslide victory for the Labour Party.)
Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.
(Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author, lexicographer. Attributed in Instructions to Young Sportsmen, Hawker (1859).
Never found in Johnson's works, the remark is also attributed to Jonathan Swift.)
Instead of the scream of a fish hawk scaring the fishes, is heard the whistle of the steam-engine, arousing a country to its progress.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 90, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)