”The Old Man and the Sea” is a novel which could be named a short novel also and it was published in 1952 for the first time in the magazine Life. It is written as a inner monologue in which we find out the thoughts of the main character. The plot is not the center of this literary work.
The theme is the relationship between man and nature. Even though at the beginning Santiago is represented like a man who is defeated in life and has no strength with time we find out that he is the real hero characterized by strength and faith.
There is an interesting description of Santiago’s battle with a fish. While he was struggling with the fish he used his life experience, courage and intelligence. Human strength and humanity came through in this fight. Even when the fish is exhausting him Santiago treats her with respect because she is a challenging rival.
Even though he lost the fish because of a shark Santiago won the battle because he managed to rise above the misfortune that was following him through life. Him main goal was to show that he is still strong enough to fight. He felt sorry for the fish, her pain and death.
The novel is not divided into chapters because it is rather short. Even though it has no chapters there is an introduction were Santiago and a boy prepare for the next day.
Everything happened on the prayer of Havana which is on Cuba. It is placed in 1950. It was the time when Joe Di Maggio was the king of baseball.
Even though the plot is settled in the fifties there is some retrospection by the main character. We can find a description of a smaller fisherman village and the inside of a small house where a bad without a mattress was, a chair and a table.
Place: Cuba, Havana
In the prayer of Havana lived Santiago, an old fisherman. He lived a lonely life and his only assets were a boat and some fishing equipment. It has been 84 days since he managed to catch a fish.
The first 40 days his help and company was a boy named Manolin. His parents sent him to help on another boat because they believed that this one was bad luck. The boy was very close to Santiago and loved him a lot. He liked the fact that Santiago considered him a true friend and an equal partner. They had many things in common and the fisherman even came every morning to wakeup the boy.
On the 85 day Santiago went with his boat to catch a fish. The first day he caught a fish but she was so big that she was dragging the whole boat. Santiago fought with her for two days and suffered a lot.
During the fight he talked to the fish and to a bird. He remembered his youth, past and dreams. At the end he managed to win the fight and he tied the fish to his boat. It was so big that the boat looked small next to it.
When he was going back sharks attacked him. They were drawn in by the smell of blood of the fish. But Santiago didn’t want to give up. He fought with the shark but in the end when he came to the shore the fish was nothing but bones.
He was tired and fell asleep soon. The boy came to visit him and when he saw his wounds he started to cry. He realized that Santiago was exhausted from the fight and all of the other fishermans found out about it soon as well as tourists. Everyone was admiring him.
Santiago was a strong hero that fought until the end. Even though he lost the fish he was the moral winner. He did not stop fighting for a second and his spiritual strength, humanity and courage are the foundation of this novel. A man can never be defeated.
Characters: Santiago, Manolin
Santiago was a calm, shy and lonely man who had an interesting past with many interesting details. In the conversation with the boy the reader gets the impression that Santiago does not like to talk about his feelings. He is described as a strong and sacrificial person.
He was poor and only had a boat and some fishing equipment. He did not have a net and he only had one shirt. When he was fishing he was always barefoot.
He loved sports, mostly baseball, so he often though about the famous players. He got the sport news from the old newspaper which were brought to him by the Boy.
Manolin loves Santiago because he thought him how to fish. He loved him for many different reasons and one of them was that Santiago treated him as a grown up.
The boy was careful about not hurting Santiago’s feelings. He would bring him some food from the hotel but always tried to keep his pride because Santiago was still a man who looked after his fisherman lifestyle even though he had almost nothing. The boy stayed with him even though his parents forbid him to do that. Manolin represents Santiago’s youth and the faith into his capability. Santiago and the boy are represented as two different characteristic, from one side youth and energy and from the other is a circle with a constant turn of events.
Ernest Hemingway Biography
Ernest Hemingway was a famous American storyteller from the 20th century. He lived from 1898 until 1961 He was born in Oak Park in Illinois. Ernest finished high school and became a journalist. He volunteered in the World War I.
He was a hunter, took up boxing for some time and worked as a journalist during the World War I and II. After the war he moved to Paris.
After the World War II he lived in Cuba for a while surrounded by fisherman. He lived a stormy life and got married several times. When he realized he couldn’t write anymore he killed himself with a gun on July 2nd, 1961.
He is considered to be one of the most important American authors whose work was influenced by his journalism. The heroes of his works are strong characters that do not fit in.
He liked novels and short stories and really stood up with the novel about the World War I, A Farewell to Arms and the short novel The old man and the sea. He got a Nobel prize in 1954.
His other famous works are: The sun also rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Indian Camp…
Book reports from Ernest Hemingway