Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Review

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Review The Old Man and the Sea was a big success for Ernest Hemingway when it was published in 1952. At first glance, the story appears to be a simple tale of an old Cuban fisherman who catches an enormous fish, only to lose it. Theres much more to the  story a tale of  bravery and heroism, of one mans struggle against his own doubts, the elements, a massive fish, sharks and even his desire to give up. The old man eventually succeeds, then fails, and then wins again. Its the story of perseverance and the machismo of the old man against the elements. This slim novella its only 127 pages   helped to revive Hemingways reputation as a writer, winning him great acclaim, including the Nobel Prize for literature.   Overview Santiago is an old man and a fisherman who has gone for months without catching a fish. Many are starting to doubt his abilities as an angler. Even his apprentice, Manolin, has abandoned him and gone to work for a more prosperous boat. The old man sets out to the open sea one day off the Florida coast and goes a little farther out than he normally would in his desperation to catch a fish. Sure enough, at noon, a big marlin takes hold of one of the lines, but the fish is far too big for Santiago to handle. To avoid letting the fish escape, Santiago lets the line go slack so that the fish wont break his pole; but he and his boat are dragged out to sea for three days. A kind of kinship and honor  develop between the fish and the man.  Finally, the fish an enormous and worthy opponent grows tired, and Santiago kills it. This victory does not end Santiagos journey; he is still far out to sea. Santiago has to drag the marlin behind the boat, and the blood from the dead fish attracts sharks.Santiago does his best to fend off the sharks, but his efforts are in vain. The sharks eat the flesh of the marlin, and Santiago is left with only the bones. Santiago gets back to shore weary and tired with nothing to show for his pains but the skeletal remains of a large marlin. Even with just the bare remains of the fish, the experience has changed him  and altered the perception others have of him. Manolin wakes the old man the morning after his return and suggests that they once again fish t ogether. Life and Death During his struggle to catch the fish, Santiago holds on to the rope even though he is cut and bruised by it, even though he wants to sleep and eat. He holds onto the rope as though his life depends on it. In these scenes of struggle, Hemingway brings to the fore the power and masculinity of a simple man in a simple habitat. He demonstrates how heroism is possible in even the most seemingly mundane circumstances. Hemingways novella shows how death can invigorate life, how killing and death can bring a man to an understanding of his own mortality and his own power to overcome it.  Hemingway  writes of a time when fishing was not merely a business or a sport. Instead, fishing was an expression of humankind in its natural state in tune with nature. Enormous stamina and power  arose  in the breast of Santiago. The simple fisherman became a classical hero in his epic struggle.

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