old man wearing steel-rimmed spectacles, with black and dusty cloth was sitting
by the side of the road.
to leave his town because of the artillery fire. He was sitting there as he was
not able to walk further, he had already
walked a lot and it was too much for his age. He was also mentally tired.
occupation? How was his occupation interrupted?
old man sitting by the side of the road was wearing steel-rimmed spectacles.
His clothes were black and dusty and his face had turned grey from dust.
old man looked after his animals in San Carlos.
artillery fire has interrupted his business of taking care of his animals, he
had to run leaving them alone.
floats or shallow-draft boats used in wartime and civil emergencies.
were using the bridge to quickly cross over the river before the Fascist army
opened fire. They were running to save their life as it was considered to be
the war zone.
narrator, says that his mission is to cross the bridge and find out how far the
enemy has advanced, does so, and finds the old man who was sitting by the
bridge when he crossed toward the enemy still sitting there when he crosses
back. So, he stopped to talk to the man, know his difficulties and ask to help
him to move to a safer place.
his native town?
old man in the story “Old Man at the Bridge” is from San Carlos.
old man takes pleasure in mentioning the name of his native town San Carlos
because he loves his native land, his birthplace.
old man had to leave his town due to the incoming artillery attack during the
Spanish Civil War. The old man lived in San Carlos, his town was under attack
and so he was forced to leave the place. The old man was told by the army
captain to leave the place as soon as possible to save his life.
old man was sitting by the side of the road. He had to leave his town because
of the artillery fire. He was sitting there as he was not able to walk
further, he had already walked a lot and
it was too much for his age. He was not able to cross the bridge as he was
guilty of leaving his animals alone. The separation was very tough for him, he
felt like he had no reason to live.
bridge was not a good place to hold as it was considered to be the war zone.
Everyone was crossing the bridge quickly to cross over the river before the
Fascist army opened fire. They were running to save their life. So, the
narrator asked the old man to move from that place and take a hold in a safer
the road. As it was not safe, the narrator advised the old man to cross the
bridge and catch a truck towards Barcelona. He asked him to run to save his
life and take a hold in a safer place. But the old man replied that he did not
know anyone there. However, he thanked the narrator for his suggestion.
old man had two goats, a cat and four pairs of pigeons.
no family, the animals were his family. He used to look after them in San
Carlos. He loved them a lot. The war-separated him from his animals, the
separation was very tough for him, he felt like he had no reason to live, he
old man owns many animals. His business was to look after them but reluctantly
he had to leave them alone. The artillery, the heavy firing from the enemy
forced him to leave the animals behind in his native town San Carlos.
old man says that he is not worried about the birds as he has left the cafe
open, they would fly.
actually worried about the goats as they would come under artillery fire as
they would not be able to escape.
old man meant to say when he states, that he is without politics is that he did
not support in any side of the war.
mentioned his age to the soldier to tell him that he was too old to do these
political things and so he will only take care of his animals. He also says
that he had walked more than he could in that age and so now he was tired.
narrator initially has a concern that the old man is not moving in light of an
enemy attack. The narrator suggests him away to an alternate destination. He
tries to assure the old man that the doves will be fine since he unlocked the
cage. He also allowed the man to rest and then urged him to move. He was filled
with pity when he realized that there was nothing to do with the old man.
narrator notices the old man when he crosses the bridge to reconnoitre how
close the enemies were. He finds him still sitting in the same place when he
returns, in spite of advising him to leave that place as it was not safe. The
enemies were approaching, everyone was busy escaping, but the old man was
immobile, he was busy in his own world of thoughts.
line ‘There was nothing to do about him’ signifies that the narrator was not
able to help the old man, as he was not able to walk further, as he had already
walked a lot and it was too much for his age. This signifies that the old man
was left in the hands of fate. Displaced and alone, he was faced with the inevitability
of death. By depicting this wretched condition of the old man, the writer draws
our sympathy for the old man.
old man is presented from the narrator’s perspective. He was presented to be
lonely. He has to leave this place because the captain told him to leave the
town because of the artillery. He had to leave all his animals and was very
guilty for that and so he couldn’t cross the bridge.
unnamed narrator is an active character in the short story. The narrator is the
soldier who comes in contact with an old man at the bridge. The soldier is a
scout whose duty is to cross the bridge and find how far the enemy has advanced
he engages himself in the conversation with the old man. He tried to help the
conflict between the man and inner self is seen in the old man. He was the
owner of few animals whom he has left alone due to the artillery and he was
really guilty for doing so. He was struggling with his inner self as he has
realized that he has not done justice with the animals. He was supposed to
bridge in the story symbolizes the point of no return for the old man. If he
crosses the bridge he may protect himself physically but not mentally, he would
have left all his love in Carlos. But if he stays he would be able to share the
fate of his animals.
old man believed that he must have taken care of the cat, the goats, and the
pigeons in San Carlos. He had to leave them alone due to the war. The man was
guilty as he was not able to fulfill his responsibilities. He kept wondering
what would his animals do in his absence.
do to make him feel better?
old man loved his animals a lot. The separation from them was very tough for
him. He left like he has lost the reasons to live.
narrator tries to engage him in a conversation. He assures the old man that his
animals would be fine. He gave his best to relieve him of his worries but
unfortunately, he failed. The old man has already surrendered to his fate.