The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

Book - 1980
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s
Sborn33
Jan 14, 2021

A reflection of life, old age, and the experience and wisdom gained along the way are explored in Hemingway's tale of the seemingly humble Santiago, an elder fisherman and his fight with a great fish. A poor fisherman, half crazy and down on his luck, Santiago's true character is revealed, giving insight into remarkable fisherman, an in-depth analysis of the unseen qualities, reflection of long-life and his wealth of experience. Initially seeing the fisherman as foolhardy or even inept old man, the reader is shown how age brings a perspective of life beyond what the inexperienced are aware, and how the continually evolving human perception changes and grows over time.

JCLCharlesH Nov 06, 2020

This meditative short story by American novelist Ernest Hemingway asks the reader to consider themes of aging, the dignity of work, and pride. Like the ocean hides many creatures, Santiago's fishing expedition contains more that can be seen at surface level.

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RyanLe16
Jul 21, 2020

The Old Man and the Sea describes the harsh and brutal elements that Santiago, a fisherman, must endure to continue doing the thing he loves the most, fishing. Santiago is an old fisherman who longs to catch a fish as he had failed to catch one for eighty-four days which results in Manolin, a young boy, to leave him for another boat per his father’s request. On the eighty-fifth day, an epic battle takes place between the old, seasoned fisherman and what would be the greatest catch of his life. Throughout the battle, Santiago’s determination and faith are put to the test.

This novel is definitely one that I enjoyed reading because of the emotional turmoil that Santiago goes through throughout the classic novella. It is a drastic change from the typical fiction novel that is common today as it tells of a one-of-a-kind relationship between a fisherman and a young boy. My main critique is the advanced comprehension that the reader must have in order to fully understand the entire plot. Because of this, I would not recommend this to the average reader, but I would definitely advise an avid reader to read the book from cover to cover.
- Age Rating: 10+

c
christinegregori
Jul 12, 2020

1954 nobel prize literature

n
navy_owl_217
Mar 16, 2020

I realize this book is a classic and all that jazz, but to be quite frank it was boring. I wouldn't recommend it to the average person.

e
evanbrow
Jan 21, 2020

A classic novella that tells one specific story very well. The detail is gripping and emotional. You really root for the old man and feel sympathy when he is in pain. Bittersweet and just. The ending raised the rating for me.

k
Karen_028
Jul 20, 2019

In the beginning and towards the end the unique relationship between the old man and the boy is great. But this kind of style is not for me, I find parts in the book a bit boring.

c
C_02
Mar 12, 2019

S, you don’t have any luck fishing for 84 days… so when you finally hook a big fish, you let it pull you three days out into the blue wilderness, though you keep getting scraped up and don’t have a lot of food and get really sore. Crazy right? I would have let go as soon as I couldn’t see my town anymore. But Santiago was desperate, or determined. But anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to. Don’t let its simple writing style make you think that it IS simple; it has a lot of symbolism- the most common being that Santiago is a Christ-figure: BELIEVE ME, ONE DOES NOT ACCIDENTALLY PLACE SO MANY LOGICAL SYMBOLS INTO THE SAME LITTLE BOOK!
I mean, Hemingway was contradictory. Take these examples:
“My training was never to drink after dinner nor before I wrote nor while I was writing.” But he also says, “Write drunk; edit sober.”
And:
“The first draft of anything is s***” “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof s*** detector.” “”There isn’t any symbolism… All the symbolism that people say is s***.” But he also says “All our words from loose usage have lost their edge.”
So, there is my argument that there IS symbolism in The Old Man and The Sea. Now, on to the analysis:
Read more at https://diaryofanerdybookworm.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/the-old-man-and-the-sea/

d
DESwartz
Nov 29, 2018

I read this as a child growing up in Southern California. We went deep sea fishing most weekends for albacore, swordfish, and sailfish. This may be the most powerfully moving book of the sea I’d ever read. Now, 50 years later, it’s just as moving. Read the book then watch Spencer Tracy in the movie. It’ll change your life!

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Bookworm1562
Jul 30, 2018

I love this novel. Brought it with me on a fishing trip this time. There are a lot of themes in this story - aging, pride, the value of one's guile, simple pleasures, etc. But ultimately it is also about "catching the big one." Everyone who loves to fish should read this novel.

j
jstalmer
Apr 27, 2018

This is a reread. Sometimes I have to come back to the classics to not only visit old friends but to remind myself how the masters did it. What can I possibly say about this iconic novel that hasn't already been said before? It's more a short story than a novel. The protagonist is an old man and the antagonist is life itself, or the sea as its metaphor. The protagonists struggle was real, yet there was beauty in how he kept going on. It's as if his struggle with the marlin was the manifestation of his struggle with life and more widely of our own struggle with life and death.

It's hard not to think of "Moby Dick" because every tale of a guy at sea and a quest for a fish makes one think of Melville, though Melville was likely influenced by Shakespeare.

On the surface, the story is simple enough for any five year old to grasp. But beneath the surface is a protagonist raging at the abyss. Or perhaps one could say he was accepting the abyss.

The language that Hemingway uses is simple, it masterfully doesn't call attention to itself. There is something so matter of fact about the prose - just as there is about the old man. One has the feeling as one reads this tale that this is what the gods do, they watch us live our little lives with keen attention but nothing more, no rooting or lamenting, just witnessing it all.

Something about the old mans dance with the marlin and then the sharks is so primal. This is the stuff of life, as if there is an ocean all around us where things surface and we are thrown into dealing with them or succumbing to them. And to have this juxtaposed against the old man doing that for the marlin who is likely minding his own business down there as the old man is what the marlin must deal with.

There were these moments in the prose where whatever is currently happening is visited by an eloquent side street to illuminate a truth. These moments don't interrupt the narrative, they rather flow along giving the current action layers upon layers.

The story seems to end where it began. There is a sense of the days we spent with the old man as being representative of his life, the keeping on in the face of whatever life brings, the moxie to live and show up another day.

Thinking about Hemingway, there seems to have been something he saw in that life and death struggle of hunting and fishing. Putting aside my personal feelings about such things, it seems Hemingway or papa as some called him, had an affinity for the life and death struggle. It's too easy to say it was a reflection of his demons, having taken his own life. It's ironic how someone that full of life fought life so hard. It's as if he wanted to soak up every minute in case he decided tomorrow he was going to throw it all away.

The old man could be seen as a manifestation of Hemingway's battle with the will to live or die.

In the end there is something so earthly and so ethereal about this tale. It seems to break life down to its bare bones. I think all stories that pit man against nature or human nature against all of nature make naked all it is to be human. Because of that, this tale is so poignant. None of us knows what lurks beneath our next moment, what surprises it or we might hold. It's constantly astonishing how unique we all are and yet so damn the same. There is something poetic in this and damn Hemingway for not being here to tell us what it is.

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evienneau
Apr 01, 2018

I read this book cover to cover in one evening. Such a beautiful story. I love finding books that remind me why I love to read

a
arunothia
Mar 27, 2018

Such a beautiful writing this one is ❤️ I recommend it to all!

l
Linyarai
Mar 06, 2018

I read this book for the "A Book That Has Won A Pulitzer Prize Any Year" part of my 2018 reading challenge. I really enjoyed it, it was simple yet gripping, and I was sucked right in to the man's trials.

m
mrnaghash
Nov 21, 2017

Just a heads up. This translated version is really bad. I left this half-way since rhe translation was not clear at all.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Oct 22, 2017

Lessons are taught and learned in many different aspects of life, from the coming of age to simply settling down with a family. This story shows in a contemporary fashion the importance of a valiant attitude towards what we perceive as defeat. It is told by Ernest Hemingway, who has lived through both world wars, as well as mental illness, and to us is an account; his advice on how we should act when facing loss. Using fairly simple prose, Hemingway creates characters that are meaningful to all readers: they can be sympathized with, and symbolize our humane traits, such as the will to live. Although the plot only concerns an older man fishing by himself out in the unforgiving sea, many elements bring this idea to life -- the sharks who eat away his hard-earned reel, the bruising and abrasions he gets the more he fights. This novel won the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, and signified a major concept in the philosophical interpretation of life. Rating: 5 of 5
@Mercurial_Series of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

I read this book when I was really young. Honestly speaking I could not understand the real purpose of writing this story because it seemed a little bit boring for me. The story was about an old man who made his living from fishing, and he went to sea in a cold, storming winter night. He got a big fish after hard work, however, a few sharks wanted that fish as his food as well. Those sharks began trying to get every bit of meat off the fish. After a few days spent on the sea, the old man lost almost all meat off the fish. He was so angry that he finally beat the sharks. In my opinion, the author wrote this story to encourage people to fight against the evil force. Generally speaking, it did work for me. The old man never gave up although there were so many sharks and he knew he could not really keep his fish from them. I would give a 4.5 out of 5.
- @Lize of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

a
Afzal_
Jul 25, 2017

The Old Man and the Sea is a great introduction for those wanting to explore the unique style of Hemingway's works, concise/ straight to the point. The book is not lenghty at all and explores very relatable, universal human struggles through the focus of on an elder fisherman, and because of that I would recommend to any age group.

Hemingway writes a classic fable illustrating the characteristics of manhood. He draws vivid pictures of abstract traits such as willpower and responsibility while pondering man’s place within nature even as he seeks, at times, to dominate it. Ultimately our greatest struggle is our final one.

j
Jamaka_88
Aug 18, 2016

An easy read for a classic and not like Life of Pi or other water survival stories-this is more about the fisherman and the fish he catches...how he feels about it and how sad he is about it by the end.

a
Angelica_7
Aug 04, 2016

This book is an old(but not very old book) in China. I read it in Chinese and English.I Like this book. because it have a lot of feelings in it, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. This book also did not really( happy but not very very happy, sad but not very very very sad.) I like this book have another reason : this book's setting, characters, everyday's whether is amazing too.

britprincess1ajax May 28, 2016

Ernest Hemingway published his novella THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA in 1952, but it still reads well today, owing to that terse style that won him many a prestigious award. I'm not a big fan of fishing and that kind of lifestyle, so reading this one was a bit of a trudge. However, the book was short, so I'd be damned if I wasn't going to see it through. Which is kind of the point of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Thematically and symbolically, the book is a goldmine. First, it deals with life as an endurance test, overcoming obstacles. (DiMaggio's bone spur, anyone?) If you don't catch a fish for months, the other fisherman deem you too old to be in the game any longer. But the human spirit can defy these declarations. He is not just the "old man," but rather the great fisherman and arm-wrestling champion Santiago, and he aims to conquer the age discrimination against him by capturing a truly great fish in the sea. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA also describes the loneliness endured in this quest for survival, not just physical survival but the survival of one's dignity in the face of these judgments. Above all, though, perseverance is king, and Hemingway expertly demonstrates that, if at first you don't succeed, try again. You are never too old to do so. So, while I didn't like the book all that much, its brevity was a plus, and it can be interpreted widely and greatly. I wouldn't recommend it, but if any of the above interests you, then maybe it's the book for you.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 20, 2016

Lessons are taught and learned in many different aspects of life, from the coming of age to simply settling down with a family. This story shows in a contemporary fashion the importance of a valiant attitude towards what we perceive as defeat. It is told by Ernest Hemingway, who has lived through both world wars, as well as mental illness, and to us is an account; his advice on how we should act when facing loss. Using fairly simple prose, Hemingway creates characters that are meaningful to all readers: they can be sympathized with, and symbolize our humane traits, such as the will to live. Although the plot only concerns an older man fishing by himself out in the unforgiving sea, many elements bring this idea to life -- the sharks who eat away his hard-earned reel, the bruising and abrasions he gets the more he fights. This novel won the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature, and signified a major concept in the philosophical interpretation of life. Rating: 5 of 5
@Mercurial_Series of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board
Penned by Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea is a classic that trails the courage of an old man as he struggles to catch a fish in the sea. After eighty-four days without a catch, the old man goes far out into the Gulf Stream. When a marlin is caught on his line, the old man is elated; he does not know that the ordeal is yet to begin. Despite his old age and wearing strength, the old man overcomes natural obstacles with admirable spirit throughout his course. It is the old man’s unwavering determination that allows him to endure constant physical pain while not accepting defeat. Although the story is fairly short, it conveys important messages relating to bravery, pride, dignity, and persistence. The Old Man and the Sea is an inspirational piece of work and undoubtedly worth reading.
Rating: 5/5
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Old Man and the Sea was my first read by Ernest Hemingway and paved way for my love of his writing style which is concise yet so descriptive you could put a picture together in your head easily. This type of writing style allows one to be completely submerged into a novel and especially since this one is only 126 pages long, don't be surprised if you have trouble putting it down. The novel follows a relentless old Cuban fisherman in his journey of becoming triumphant after a long streak of haplessness. If you are looking for a positive and motivational novel which encourages courage in the face of defeat this might be exactly what you're looking for. Overall Hemingway's novel is  adventure packed with suspense and unexpected turns, I promise it will leave you philosophically questioning what you just read. This book is especially recommended for beginner readers, or younger people, or those who are interested in reading other novels by Hemingway.
- @magicsoup of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

A short read, this book packs in a lot of detail that is overlooked by its tiny size. It is about (generally) the struggle between an old fisherman and a large fish. There are many large lessons that can be learned from the smallest of acts, shown through the old man. The detail is multitudinous and the plot is fairly easy to follow. It kind of bored me at parts, and I feel that if I liked fishing more, I would relate to the story in a lot more ways. But truthfully, one shouldn't have to like the sport of fishing to like the book, just have a well-developed insight on bigger pictures. 3/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Nkenward
Feb 21, 2016

For anyone interested in getting into Hemingway, there is no better place than "The Old Man and the Sea". It's short enough to finish in one sitting and packs a big enough punch to leave you thinking about it for some time after. Like most other Hemingway books its the ending that makes you question what you've just read. While you are looking for a nice ribbon to tie around the end of the book, Hemingway is busy puling the rug out from under you. It's these unconventional climaxes that make you total reevaluate and question what you have just read bringing new meaning and significance to previously unsuspected details. For someone looking for a more mature and complex introduction to the author, I would also recommend his short story "Hills like white elephants".

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Zaelia
Dec 28, 2015

Took a long time to get into this story, but once I did I literally couldn't sleep. I had to keep reading and finish. It's a short, but well written and powerful story.

m
manojeradath
Nov 10, 2015

This is not a story or novel, this is life. Narrated so truly in those few pages. Master piece!


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