I just finished reading The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway this past weekend. This was easy because of two truths: 1. it was a short 100-page flipper-oo 2. it’s an amazing novella. You could just as well Wikipedia the plot, but I am willing to give you just enough info to persuade you to read it yet not enough to ruin it for you. That is something Wikipedia cannot do.
The Old Man and the Sea is narrated in third person though much of the context is first person inner dialogue. The setting is primarily set out somewhere deep in the Gulf Stream where the major characters, a Cuban man, Santiago, and a large 1,500 lb Marlin duke it out. Santiago’s role is easily likable as he is the obvious protagonist. He is a fisherman down on his luck who has gone 84 days without a single catch. He continually considers himself an “old, old man” with one loyal friend left, a boy, named Manolin. Who doesn’t want to cheer for this guy? He ventures out deep into the Gulf and finds himself fighting, conversing and befriending a great big fish. Among other things, sharks persistently attack his route similar to that of Santiago’s determination to survive in his skiff which never seems to falter.
This is a short, short version of a true book report skimping out on religious undertones, foreshadowing and other potential deep references. That stuff you can decide for yourself.
In closing, I just want to say a thank you to Hemingway for allowing me read such great literature. The Sun Also Rises is next in store.