The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea is a book by Ernest Hemingway. The author’s writing conveys deep messages and focuses on the development of characters who are not always human, but an important part of the story. In this book, Hemingway creates the character of the old man, Santiago, who is a noble man that embodies human striving. There is also a giant fish who is strong and bold, as well as the sea, vast and pervading. The story is great at creating emotion, but it seemed to me to be very drawn out.
I would not reccomend this book to people who need instant gratification in their reading, but to those who look for a story that slowly builds up to a great message, then this is the story for them. In the begining of The Old Man and the Sea, you are introduced to Santiago, the old man, and Manolin, a little boy that Santiago has taken under his wing. The story takes place in Havanna, Cuba in an older time than today, but still modern. Santiago is a fisherman that has not caught anything in 84 days. Manolin used to fish with Santiago since he was five, but his parents made him go to another fishing crew when Santiago stopped catching fish.
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Santiago treats Manolin as if he were his son. This has a great impact on the character of Santiago. It shows Santiago’s nature for nurturing. The old man is very compationate and caring. Although he is a fisherman, he sometimes feels guilty for catching the fish, but he reminds himself that it is his duty. At this point in the book, I felt sorry for the old man because he is very kind, but very old. He seems to be losing his mind a little bit. Manolin and he pretend to eat rice and steak while talking about Africa. The old man seems to think that it is all real.
It makes the reader sad to see such a kind, sweet man lose his wits, but it does make the character more human knowing that he does age. The first part of the book is a great introduction the the characters, but builds up slowly. The author seems to pay great attention to setting a mood and the creation of well rounded characters, which Hemingway is notorious for. The next part of the book builds up more action. The old man goes out to fish on the 85th day of not catching anything. He believes that this day is lucky because he is superstitious and 85 is a lucky number to him.
He goes out to sea and sends his lines out like usual, except today he goes out deeper. He watches the birds to see where the fish are. The man-of-war bird shows him exactly where the fish are and the old man roes out to the spot. Santiago talks about the birds and is awed by them. He loves every aspect of fishing and being out on the ocean. Santiago finally hooks a fish and waits for it to circle around before he can harpoon it. He chases the fich on the sea for three days eating raw tunas, flying fish, and dolphin. Throughout the whole chase, the old man bonds with the fish. He compares it to himself.
He feels a kinship between the fish and himself. Santiago sees the same noble qualities in the fish that he believes he posesses. The bond between the fish and him is deep. The fish is personafied by Santiago’s persistant comparison of the fish to himself. The old man talks of having to kill the fish and it makes you upset because you begin to see the fish as a person, and it seems like Santiago will be losing a close part of himself by losing the fish. The book continues to stir up emotions and to hit the reader hard. Towards the end of the book, Santiago catches the fish. It is huge, wieghing over 100 pounds.
He has a great struggle with the fish leaving him bruised and battered. Later, sharks surround the boat and begin to take chunks out of the prized marlin. Santiago has to fend off several sharks to save himself and what’s left of the fish. During the whole ordeal, the old man protects the fish as if it were a relative. Even in the fish’s death, Santiago continues to feel connected to it. He felt bad slaying the marlin, but he did what a fisher must do and brings home his living. The conclusion of the book leaves you with yet again, deep emotions. You feel sorry that the fish has to die, but you also feel a hreat admiration for the old man.
Santiago goes through a lot and never gives up. He finds the beauty in everything and tries to treat every creature with love and compassion. The story ends beautifully. Overall, The Old Man and the Sea was a pretty good book. It does not have a lot going on as far as action, but the whirlwind of feelings is enough to keep you reading. I did enjoy most of the book even though it got off to a slow start. Hemingway is wonderful at creating realistic characters and it shows that he really understands human nature. I would reccomend this book to any deep thinkers and those who like to be in touch with their emotions.