Thursday, March 18, 2010
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA-A Book Review
The Old Man and the Sea depicts a battle between an old fisherman and a giant marlin which is called the largest catch of his life. The story opens with a fisherman, Santiago, who has gone 84 days without catching any fish and so his young apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with the old man and been ordered to fish with more successful fishermen. Still dedicated to the old man, Manolin visits Santiago's shack each night, hauling back his fishing gear, feeding him and discussing American baseball —Santiago's idol, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago tells Manolin that on the next day, he will venture far out into the Gulf to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end.
Thus on the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sets out alone far into the Gulf. He sets his lines and, by noon of the first day, a big fish that he is sure is a marlin takes his bait. Unable to pull in the great marlin, Santiago instead finds the fish pulling his skiff. Two days and two nights pass in this manner, during which the old man bears the tension of the line with his body. He determines that because of the fish's great dignity, no one will be worthy of eating the marlin. On the third day of the ordeal, the fish begins to circle the skiff, indicating his tiredness to the old man. Santiago, now completely worn uses all his strength to pull the fish onto its side and stab the marlin with a harpoon, thereby ending the long battle between the old man and the fish.
Santiago heads home, thinking about the high price the fish will bring him at the market and how many people he will feed. While Santiago continues his journey back to the shore, sharks are attracted to the trail of blood left by the marlin in the water. In total, five sharks are slain and many others are driven away.
By night, only the skeleton consisting mostly of the marlin’s backbone, its tail and its head are left. Finally reaching the shore before dawn on the next day, he struggles on the way to his shack, carrying the heavy mast on his shoulder. Once home, he slumps onto his bed and enters a very deep sleep.
A group of fishermen gather the next day around the boat where the fish's skeleton is still attached. One of the fishermen measures it to be eighteen feet from nose to tail. Manolin, worried during the old man's endeavor, cries upon finding him safe asleep. The boy brings him newspapers and coffee. When the old man wakes, they promise to fish together once again.