Oh my. I saw this and realized that I read this so long ago I couldn’t remember the ending – I’m thinking high school! And I’d never reread it because I wasn’t all that crazy about it back then (true of many books I read for school). But it’s only 124 pages long – I can do this – (actually, how can I NOT do this? – See next post -)
Okay, so “The Old Man and the Sea” will never be my favorite Hemingway novel – that goes to “A Farewell to Arms,” and I will always love best the short story “Cat in the Rain.” Nevertheless, “The Old Man and the Sea” was better than I remembered.
This time Santiago, the old man, came to life for me and I cared about him. And he cared about people and the fish and all of life. He was pretty funny talking to himself and his fish out there in the boat. He was a curmudgeonly old fart, strong, knowledgable, courageous, but with disastrously bad luck. And I loved the boy who loved the man – I loved his tears and his faith.
Santiago sets out alone to fish and, after 84 previous days of catching nothing, snags the big one – the BIG one. This enormous shark takes him on what seems to be a tour of the eastern Caribbean – they go for days. Santiago catches fish to eat raw and hurts his hand and keeps hold of the line which holds the fish. Finally he harpoons it, lashes it to the side of the boat and heads home – but alas, he is not any luckier than he was on his prior days’ outings – disaster befalls him in the form of more sharks who want the fish lashed to his boat. After 4 days at sea he’s already tired and now he has to defend his very life against sharks. (I’ll not tell you the ending, but I’m totally satisfied with it.)