The Old Man and The Sea is a novel nicely written by Earnest Hemingway. The Old Man and The Sea were written in 1951 and published in 1952. The Old Man and The Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old fisherman Santiago and a big fish Marlin.
Earnest Hemingway is popularly known as one of the greatest American novelists, short story writers, and journalists. Hemingway started his literary career with his first novel The Sun Also Rises. He wrote approximately 7 novels, 6 short stories, collections, and 2 non-fiction works. A lot of his works were published posthumously.
Among his novels The Old Man and The Sea, A Farewell to Arms, and For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, A Movable Feast, are world famous. For his contribution to American Literature, he was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He was awarded Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and The Sea novel and it was the last major work of fiction that was published during his lifetime.
The Old Man And The Sea Summary
The Old Fisherman Santiago was a seasoned fisherman. He fished in the Gulf Stream near the coast of Cuba. He failed to catch any fish for the last Sundays. He was declared unlucky by other fishermen of the locality, A young boy Manolin used to work with him as an apprentice. His continuous failure in catching a fish influenced the mind of the parents of Manolin although Manolin continues to help Santiago launch and retrieve his boat from the ocean each day.
Manolin cares for Santiago, bringing him food and clothing, and in return, Santiago tells. Manolin stories about baseball legends and his younger day fishing in a boat off of Africa. Every night, Santiago dreams of lions on the beaches of Africa. Early each morning Santiago walks up the road to the Manolin family’s home to wake him up for work.
On the morning of the 85th day, Manolin helps Santiago launch his boat into the sea. Santiago dropped four baits of different depths in the Sea. The first bait was at the depth of fifty fathoms, the second was at the depth of seventy-five fathoms, the third at a hundred fathoms, and the fourth was held at one hundred and twenty-five fathoms.
Finally, in the early afternoon, he catches a ten-pound “Tuna”, which he decides will be his meal for the day. Afterward, Santiago feels a hard pull on his line and realizes that a huge marlin has caught his hook. Because the marlin is so big Santiago cannot pull it in. Santiago wished that the boy would have been with him to help in publishing the fish.
On the Second dog, the old man had a chance to look at the fish which jumped out of the water for air. The old man was standing at his place in the boat and he was profusely sweating. During his contest with the fish, his right hand was injured and his left hand was cramped. He felt lonely.
Santiago was not so religious but at this time he prays and said:
“I will say ten our fathers
and ten Hail Marys that
I Should catch this fish,
and I promise to make a
pilgrimage to the Virgin
de cobre if I catch him.”
He wonders what his hero ‘Joe DI Maggio’ would do if he were in Santago’s situation.
On the third day at sea, he lets out a small line and catches a dolphin fish to eat. He rests for a few hours but is woken by the marlin jumping frantically. Santiago continues holding the line, although it has been cutting into his hand at the same time. The mariner tries and begins circling the boat as Santiago grows weaker from lack of sleep and exhaustion. Finally, Santiago used all his strength to harpoon and kill the marlin.
Santiago ties the marlin to the side of his boat and begins sailing back toward Cuba. During the homeward journey, Sharks attack the boat, tearing the flesh from the marlin. The Shark attacked the tail of the big fish and ate at least forty pounds of flesh. The old Man drove his harpoon into the brain of the shark. The Shark died at once and went into the sea. In this fight, The Old Man was deprived of his harpoon along with the rope. At this point, the old man said: “A Man can be destroyed but not be defeated.”
The Old Man had to face the attack of two more sharks. He killed these sharks with the knife and tied it to the end at the oar. In this attack, they seemed to have eaten one-fourth meat of the dead Marlin. Before sunset, more sharks attacked the big fish. The old Man beat their head with his club and injured them seriously. They also ate the Old Man’s large amount of fish the Marlin.
At midnight, he saw the brilliant lights of Havana. He was near his destination. Then again a pack of sharks attacked the fish. He took up his club and beat them mercilessly. The old Man succeeded in killing them but at that time, only the skeleton of the fish was left. Leaving Marlin’s skeleton still tied to his boat in the harbor, Santiago goes to sleep in his hut.
The next day, Manolin finds Satiago asleep in his shack. Manolin is overjoyed to see him but cries when he sees the cuts on Santiago’s hand. He brings Santiago coffee, passing the crowd of fishermen who are marveling at the marlin’s giant skeleton. When Santiago wakes up, Manolin tells him he does not care what his parent says: He is going to start fishing with Santiago again.
Thus, Life and Death are prominent themes in this novel teaching us lessons about patience, Santiago’s courage, and friendship. So now we can say that The Old Man and The Sea is one of the best novels by Earnest Hemingway.