I just finished reading ‘The old man and the sea’ by Ernest Hemingway. It is a short story about an old man, revealed to be named Santiago, who has a great love for the sea. To be honest, It didn’t seem like Hemingway made the novel very ‘action packed’ though there were times when Santiago had to battle of sharks with only his knife. However, I think that what made this novel what it was to me, was the way Hemingway used imagery to explain the Sea and the emotions that Santiago had towards the sea and the marlin that he fought for 5 days in a row. Santiago manages to catch the 18 feet marlin, but throughout the long battle the old man had with the marlin, it seems like Santiago doesn’t want to let go of the Marlin and that he sort of regrets killing the Marlin because it illustrates the immense connection that Santiago has with the sea and how beautiful he thinks it is.
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?
Santiago sees that the Marlin never did anything to hurt him and that it’s wrong to kill something as beautiful as a big Marlin. However, Santiago is not very rich so it’s either that the Marlin lives or it is him. There only seems to be one person in his life throughout the story and that is the boy that the old man mentions multiple times when he is out on the sea. This boy looks up to Santiago like it was his grandfather and wants to be with him though both his parents deem it’s better that he is with fisherman that manages to catch more fish as Santiago recently haven’t been very lucky with catching any fish. Anyhow, the boy clearly cares for Santiago as he cries of happiness when the old man returns after being on the sea for 5 days straight. It’s not just the boy who looks up to Santiago, but Santiago seems to also like getting attention an shave someone that thinks that what he is doing is great. This is what I think made the book so special, because really I think the story is about a lonely man who is trying to figure himself out a bit and the only way he can escape and do that is to go to sea, where he truly belongs.
It’s a great story and I did enjoy reading it. I recommend it!