The Old Man and the Sea Summary, it is a novella written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cayo Blanco (Cuba), and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction written by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime.
One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba.
In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.
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The Old Man and the Sea Summary
Santiago was an old fisherman who loved the sea, and he taught a little boy named Manolin to fish, and the boy kept working with the old man for forty days without catching a single fish, so Manolin's parents forced their son to leave the old man because he had jinxed, so he went to work with another boat and the first week he had three fish of huge species.
The boy was very sad, especially seeing the old man return with his empty boat every day, and the boy would go to him to help him carry rolls of ropes, wires, a fishing hook, a spear or a sail patched with flour bags and wrapped as if it were a flag of defeat and constant frustration.
Wrinkles and brown spots had covered his face, the boy took the old man's boat and went into the open sea, and went further because he wanted to catch a big fish, and the old man loved the sea and thought he was his friend, so the boy searched for the old man, while the old man was working with one of the fishermen, because he was worried about him, but the old man was strong as he was a good fisherman, and he was not afraid so he sailed for a long time.
He knew that he had to be patient to catch fish, and while he was waiting he saw birds and they showed him where the fish were, and Santiago was thinking about the turtles that he used to see when he was fishing, he loved turtles and was watching his hook, he was waiting for a big fish.
It was hot and he waited for a long time until he saw his fishing rod moving, he was sure it was a big fish, so Santiago grabbed his fishing line carefully and he knew that it was a big fish, perhaps it was a marlin, which is one of the largest fish in the sea, and because Santiago is an old man, he knew that it was difficult for him to catch such a big fish and take it home alone, but he needed that fish.
Santiago tried to pull the string again, but the fish was strong and began to pull the boat far into the sea, that night Santiago could not sleep, and he kept thinking about Manolin and the fish in the string that he could sell for a large sum.
So the old man was holding the string with one hand, and he hoped that the fish was tired, so he was hungry and his hands were hurt by the string, suddenly the fish jumped out of the water was the largest marlin fish Santiago had ever seen, it was bigger than his boat.
The old man felt tired, but he had the strength and courage, and he had enough water and food, so the second night came, and Santiago did not sleep, and when evening came, the fish circled the boat and took its tail out of the water.
Santiago tied her to the boat, but the sharks gathered around her, Santiago tried to kill them, but more sharks gathered around her until the fish became just a skeleton.
The old man looked at the fish and was sad, and sailed the boat back, all he could think about was the bed, when Santiago returned, it was evening and no one saw him, so he lay down on his bed because he was very tired.
The next morning Manolin saw the old man's boat, the boy entered the old man's House and when he saw his wounded hands he felt sad, went to the cafe and brought him coffee, asked him to go fishing with him again, the old man rejoiced and fell asleep, the villagers saw the fish skeleton and felt sad for Santiago.
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The Old Man and the Sea characters
Santiago: The novella's central character. A dedicated fisherman who taught Manolin everything he knows about fishing, Santiago is now old and poor and has gone 84 days without a catch.
Manolin: A young man from the fishing village who has fished with Santiago since the age of five and now cares for the old man. Manolin recently began fishing with another fisherman whom his parents consider luckier than Santiago.
Martin: The owner of the Terrace (his name is Spanish for St. Martin), he sends food and drink to Santiago through Manolin.
Rogelio: A man of the village who on occasion helps Santiago with the fishing net.
Perico: A man at the bodega (his name is Spanish for St. Peter, an apostle and fisherman) who gives Santiago newspapers to read.
Marlin: An eighteen-foot bluish billfish and a catch of legendary proportions.
Mako: A mackerel shark (dentuso in Spanish) that is a voracious and frightening killer known for its rows of large, sharp teeth.
Shovel-nosed sharks The scavenger sharks (galanos in Spanish) that destroy the marlin.
Pedrico: A fisherman in the village who looks after Santiago's skiff and gear and receives the marlin's head to use in fish traps.
Tourists: A man and woman at the Terrace who see the marlin's skeleton and, misunderstanding a waiter's explanation of what happened, think the skeleton is that of a shark.
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Questions about The Old Man and the Sea Plot
What is the main point of The Old Man and the Sea?
The main theme of The Old Man and the Sea is how perseverance and dignity can help one battle through struggles in life. Religion helps give strength to persevere and reminds of the cyclical nature of life.
What happens in the old man in the sea?
When the old man hooks a marlin longer than his boat, he is tested to the limits as he works the line with bleeding hands in an effort to bring it close enough to harpoon. Through his struggle, Santiago demonstrates the ability of the human spirit to endure hardship and suffering in order to win.
What is the conclusion of the story The Old Man and the Sea?
The conclusion of The Old Man and the Sea is the return of Santiago to shore, with only the carcass of the marlin he caught in tow.
What is the critical analysis of The Old Man and the Sea?
The Old Man and The Sea admits of various interpretations. Some called it Hemingway's personal parable, a parable of the artist struggling with his craft and his critics. Some critics interpret it as a parable of man's life on earth, a parable of human struggle, others interpret it as an allegory of youth and age
What moral do you learn from the old man's words?
The moral we learn from the old man's words is that good fruits come to those who do hard work. The old man worked hard, lived by his own labour, and lived according to God's law.
Who is Santiago's hero?
DiMaggio plays professional baseball well despite a painful condition of bone spurs, which Santiago admires. Even though Santiago experiences pain and suffering, he reminds himself that DiMaggio, his hero, does as well but persists through his pain.
What is the conflict in The Old Man and the Sea?
The main conflict of The Old Man and the Sea is inner conflict of the old man, Santiago. He is in conflict between desire of getting big fishes and weakness of giving up. This conflict is the main element to develop the story.
What is the irony in The Old Man and the Sea?
The irony of The Old Man and the Sea is that, after days of struggling against the marlin, Santiago is robbed of his prize. Sharks attack the dead marlin while Santiago is hauling it home. By the time he reaches the shore, nothing is left but the bones.
Why was the boy crying at the end of The Old Man and the Sea?
Manolin cries when he sees that his friend has returned home safely. At that point, Santiago had been missing for days, and Manolin assumed that the old man had died at sea. He also weeps because of the terrible wounds on Santiago's hands.
Who is the old man of the sea?
In Greek mythology, the Old Man of the Sea was a primordial figure who could be identified as any of several water-gods, generally Nereus or Proteus, but also Triton, Pontus, Phorcys or Glaucus.
What is the relationship between The Old Man and the Sea illustrate?
Santiago and Manolin are very close friends in Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea. Their age difference adds layers to this friendship. In the beginning, Santiago acts as a mentor to Manolin. He teaches him to fish and takes him out on the boat with him starting as early as age five.
Is The Old Man and the Sea a tragic story?
Hemingway's depiction of the old man, the fish, and the sea is lovely, chilling, and devastating. Ultimately, the story is a tragedy. The old man, like the great marlin, is killed by the cruel atmosphere of life and the ocean.
What was the attitude of the old man towards the sea?
Santiago's attitude toward the sea is one of love. He fondly calls it “la mar,” and thinks of it as feminine rather than masculine. Santiago is also fond of all the creatures in the sea, and feels they are a community together.