Monday, August 20, 2012

The Old Man And The Sea Book Review

Title: The Old Man And The Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Published: 1952

Genre: Fiction


Santiago, an old and experienced Cuban fisherman hasn't caught a fish in eighty-four days. He is such a failure, that even his his little apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden from fishing with him by his parents.

But Santiago wants to catch a marlin. A HUGE marlin. So he sets out alone to fulfill his goal to catch the marlin. He sets lines and waits for something to take the bait. Eventually, a fish Santiago is sure is a marlin catches the line. But Santiago is unable to pull the fish because the fish is so big. Instead, the fish is pulling Santiago! But Santiago is determined to catch this fish. So he held on to the line. He sits there for two days and two nights. While at sea, Santiago becomes bored, often talking to the fish, the other fish in the sea, and even little birds. and resentful of Manolin not being able to come along. But he feels Manolin inside his heart, telling him to keep going, and to never give up on the fish.Then, Santiago gets hurt while pulling the fish, and gives the fish respect, referring to him as "brother", and saying that no one is worthy of eating the fish because of the fish's determination to live.

On the third day, the marlin circles the boat, and with all his strength, Santiago manages to turn the fish over and impale it with a harpoon. Santiago straps the fish to his boat and paddles away, but soon sharks are attracted to the blood of the fish, and try to eat it. Santiago succeeds in killing the first few sharks, but soon the sharks keep coming, and eventually the whole marlin is gone! When Santiago finally reaches shore, all that's left is an 18 foot marlin carcass. He slumps to bed, and falls asleep.

Let's Talk About It

What was this story really about? Was this really about an old man going out and catching a fish? Because I think this books is pretty unrealistic. This is what I think. The book describes life. Here is a translation.

Santiago - A normal person

Manolin - A friend or GOD. A person who has faith in Santiago

The Sea - The world

The 84 days/Fish - A challenge

The Sharks - Obstacles

See? This is MUCH more realistic.


From what I've learned about Literature and Classics is that it is often necessary to read in between the lines for the real meaning in the story.  It's like an iceberg, 95% of what going on is not seen.

At first I thought that this book was boring as repetitive. But then I thought about it more and I liked it a little more. But definitely not a book I'd read again. Most of the kids I know would not like this book, and I'd say the same for some of the older kids. Not all of them, but some. There are some kids who would rather not have all the answers right there in the book. They want to be a detective and find the real meaning under all the words. Others just wouldn't be interested.

I'll give this book a three out of five stars.

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