Opinion measurement has also disclosed strong correlations between educational, religious, geographic, socioeconomic, and ethnic factors, on the one hand, and the opinions that people hold on political subjects, on the other. Indeed, in several areas of the United States it has been found that a person’s voting behavior can be predicted with considerable reliabihty if information is available about his socioeconomic status, his place of residence (urban or rural), and his religious or ethnic background (Lazarsfeld et al. 1944, p. 26). In general, political interest and activity are greater among upper socioeconomic and educational levels, men, middle-aged groups, and urban residents than among lower socioeconomic and educational levels, women, older and younger adults, and rural residents (ibid., pp. 42-51). A number of surveys have also found a relationship between political opinions and personality factors—although this relationship has usually been weaker and more difficult to document satisfactorily.
Santiago's statement that his eyes adjust to the sun during different parts of the day furnishes another example of the importance of sight and visual imagery in the novella. Santiago says, "All my life the early sun has hurt my eyes, he thought. Yet they are still good. In the evening I can look straight into it without getting the blackness. It has more force in the evening too. But in the morning it is just painful" (33). Given the likening of natural time cycles to human age, . September as the autumn of life, it is plausible to read this passage as a statement of the edifying power of age. While it is difficult to find one's way in the morning of youth, this task becomes easier when done by those who have lived through the day into the evening of life.