the old man and the sea

The old man and the sea is a piece of literary classic written by Ernest Hemingway in 1951. Considered as one of the best written classics ever, this novel was instrumental in re-establishing Hemingway’s position as a literary genius. The author has a very simple style of writing heightened by the plot of this novel. The theme of the book is self-discovery and the innate need of a human being for stability and certainty.

The protagonist of the novel is an old man named Santiago. His fishing career seems to have run its course and people have started believing in the negative about his fishing capabilities. His apprentice Manolin has left him to work elsewhere. Santiago starts feeling desperate about the entire situation and decides to venture deep into the sea to catch a fish. He battles to catch the fish for two long days and finally he succeeds on the third day.

After a few hours, he catches hold of a marlin which sadly enough is too big for him to handle. Santiago spends three days in the sea to catch hold of this enormous fish. Eventually, he does win the battle against the marlin but loses it to the scavenger sharks. He tries too hard to save the marlin from the sharks but all he is left with is the skeleton by the time he gets to the shore. Inspite of all that happens, the perception of the people including Manolin changes towards him and he decides to rejoin Santiago to fish together.

This novel is much more than being a simple story about a man going after a fish. It is about how the simple things in life can help you move to an iconic and memorable status. It is beautiful, simple and very touching. Hemingway speaks of fishing as an art when man gets closer with nature and with oneself. Though unlike most of his other novels, “The old man and the sea” won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and Nobel Prize in 1954.