Read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Online

The Old Man and the Sea

It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic. ...

Title : The Old Man and the Sea
Author :
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ISBN : 9780684830490
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 132 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » The Old Man and the Sea

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The Old Man and the Sea Reviews

  • Lisa

    My children and I were crossing a bridge in Rome. Our senses were acutely sharpened. We were aware of each minute spent in this capital of human storytelling, of the neverending drama of human culture and nature in interaction and in occasional clashes. Looking out over the river, my son and I spot the sorry remains of a boat, just the bare metal frame without any "flesh", and we instinctively say at the same time:

    "Hemingway's old man!"

    We look at each other, smile at our simultaneous association
    ...more

  • Will Byrnes

    It is intimidating to offer a truly critical look at such a classic, so we will ease into it with a few images.

    The GOP has offered us a ready-made item to begin this list, and yes, I know that John Stewart already snagged this one and threw it back.



    I turned up a visual art concept that fits in, for a restaurant based on EH themes:

    Although I did not sit for this photo, the resemblance is indeed striking

    And, of course



    The Old Man and the Cee Lo.

    I suppose am certain there are plenty more images one

    He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky.
    So opens The Old Man and the Sea, the book, we hear tell, that convinced the Nobel committee to reel in EGH with the biggest literary hook of them all. Santiago is an old, unlucky, but skilled Cuban fisherman. He has an able assistant, the young Manolin. The lad is not a blood relation, but he sees a father figure in the old man, and he may be a younger reflection of the old man himself. Maybe Santiago sees himself in the young man and takes some strength from that. Like the best sort of father, he teaches the boy to fish rather than fishing for him. But Santiago’s ill fortune has marked him as someone to be avoided and Manolin’s parents have put the kibosh on their professional association. The old man is determined to salvage his reputation, and his honor, and bring in some money by going farther out than the other fishermen are willing to sail, in search of redemption. No herald calls him to action. No dramatic event sparks him to excessive risk. It is an internal challenge that powers his engines. But it is a quest nonetheless on which Santiago embarks.

    Any time there are fish involved, one might presume a degree of soul saving. I do not know enough Hemingway to have a take on whether or not that figured here. I raise it only as a passing thought. But the second sentence of the book offers a hint. “In the first forty days…”clearly places Santiago’s travails alongside another person who spent forty days in a different barren environment. It was after being baptized that Jesus spent his time in the desert, preparing for what awaited. Is Santiago to be tested here? Will he be offered a route away from his difficult path?

    The waters are becalmed. Nothing moves. A moment, then, for a digression. OK, let’s try some simple arithmetic, if Jesus, at age 30, spent 40 days in the desert, and Santiago has gone 84 days in his version of the desert, just how old is the old man? 63, according to my calculations. Possible. I do not recall seeing an actual age noted, so I am gonna go with that. I know you guys will let me know if an actual age is revealed somewhere and my squinty geezer eyes missed it. Done. I can feel a slight breeze beginning to flutter the sail.

    Some sort of religion seems to flow through this fish tale. Not only are we sprinkled with forty-day references, but Santiago discusses sin. In his struggles he suffers physical damage in which some might see an echo of Calvary. But I think that is a stretch, personally. So, we have a bit of religion, and a quest. What is Santiago questing for? Redemption would fit in nicely. Having failed for a long time, he feels a need to redeem himself in the eyes of his community. Maybe not a religious thing, per se, but swimming in the same waters. And speaking of religion, water as a baptismal element is always a possibility, although somewhat diluted here, as Santiago makes his living on the water.

    The old man is strong, skilled and determined. Maybe it is his character that is at issue. Maybe somehow, taking on this challenge is a way to prove to himself that he is truly a man. He goes about his business, and his fishing is his fate, maybe even his life. It is in how he handles himself when faced with this challenge that will show us the sort of person he is, a common Hemingway theme, and he does just that.

    This is a very short novel, more, maybe, a novella or large short story. But it has the feel of a parable. There is definitely something going on here even if it keeps slipping out of my analytical net.

    I was reminded of another well-known fish story, Moby Dick (really, allow a little literary license here people. Yes I know the whale is not a fish. Geez.). Whereas in that one, the fisherman, Ahab, sets himself against the whale, and therefore either fate or god, seeing a personal enemy, Santiago sees the fish as his brother, a fellow creature in the universe acting out his part. The challenge is always about oneself and not about the external enemy, or rival. In fact, the fish and Santiago are both victimized, together, by the sharks that feast on his catch.
    Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. How many people will he feed, he thought. But are they worthy to eat him? No, of course not. There is not one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behaviour and his great dignity.
    One might be forgiven for seeing here a possible reference to catholic communion and the relative merit of so many of those who receive. Is the fish (a Christian symbol if there ever was one) meant to be Jesus or some other form of deity, as Moby was?

    Could it be that Hemingway’s notion of religion is less Christian and more a sort of materialist (as in non-spiritual, not as in accumulating stuff) philosophy? Lacking the proper tackle for that I will leave such considerations to those who have spent more time than I trolling Hemingway’s waters.

    The writing is mostly either third-person description or the old man’s internal, and sometimes spoken, dialogue. Regardless of the literary ambitions splashing about here, the story is about a very sympathetic character. Santiago is a man not only of physical strength, but moral character. He is not portrayed as a saint, but as a simple man, maybe even, in a way, an ideal man in his simplicity. He knows his place in the world, faces the challenges that world presents to him and using only his skill, intelligence, strength and determination, overcomes (or not). It is easy to climb on board as a Santiago supporter. He is a fellow who is very much a part of the world, even as he contemplates larger things.

    The Old Man and the Sea is a small story, but it is a whale of a tale. If you have not fished these waters before, don’t let this be one of those that got away.

    WB32

    ==============================UPDATES

    1/5/13 - Jeffrey Keeten sent along this amazing link. Gary Wyatt had shared it with him. It will definitely make you smile

    6/20/13 - I discovered that one of the images I used had vanished into the ether, so I substituted another ...more

  • Matt

    Worst book ever.

    Just throw the fucking fish back in. Fuck.

  • Councillor

    On the first glance, The Old Man and the Sea is a very simple story about a Cuban fisherman fighting against a giant marlin. On the second glance ... it is still a very simple story. You won't find any complex characters in this story, you won't find even the smallest trace of complexity. One can try to find symbolisms in this story (and will most likely succeed), but as Ernest Hemingway said himself:

    "There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and
    ...more

  • Matt

    I read this as a young man and was disappointed. It didn't work for me. I thought it was about a crazy old man gone off the reservation, picking a fight with an innocent fish while ranting about the New York Yankees ("I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing. They say his father was a fisherman...").

    I picked it up again, after the passage of some years, and found it incredibly poignant.

    It's a simple story. There's an old man, Santiago, who is a fisherman fallen on hard times. He is cared

    I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. . . . Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. . . . There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers.


    Eventually, the marlin is hauled in and killed. The old man attaches him to the boat, and begins to row towards shore. Of course, the marlin is dripping blood, so if you've seen Jaws or read James and the Giant Peach, you can imagine that his dreams of hitting it big with this fish are probably not going to come to pass.

    Age teaches you a lot of things. You start to realize that you might never be the person you thought you'd be as a child. Days go by, you start to lose more and gain less. I thought about this as I thought about the old man, raging like Dylan Thomas against the night; an old man nearing the end of his days fighting against nature, time, death, a fish, able to boil all things down into one climatic struggle on the high seas. At the end, he did not succeed, at least not in the manner he'd foreseen, but he was, in an inimitable way, victorious.

    'You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food,' he thought. 'You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?'


    ...more

  • Riku Sayuj

    The wolves will come...

    I started this in high spirits as my updates show: "fifth re-read, how thrilling it is to plumb new depths in old wells of wisdom..."

    But, as I read on towards the last few pages, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is Moby Dick set in an alternate universe.

    In this alternate universe:

    The Giant Leviathan is a noble, unseen fish - steady and without malice.

    Captain Ahab is transformed into a gentle, wise old zen master. Santiago - a humble fisherman with no legendary crew t

    “They beat me, Manolin,” he said. “They truly beat me.”

    “He didn’t beat you. Not the fish.”

    “No. Truly. It was afterwards.”
    ...more

  • Brina

    Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the masters of American 20th century fiction. Garnering from his life experiences, his novels reflect on his time as a newspaper reporter and correspondent in a Europe during both the inner war and war years. A member of the lost generation, Hemingway was the first of his group to have a major work published. In addition to all of the accolades bestowed upon him, Hemingway is considered along Steinbeck to be a master storyteller, especially of short stories. ...more

  • Greg

    Sad book. Read it, but know it is sad.

    This is probably written at about a 4th grade reading level, and the audience is at least that broad.

    I'll spare you the christ imagery chit-chat.

    Why did Ernest Hemingway cross the road?

    To die. In the rain.