OLD MAN AND THE SEA Summary Ernest Hemingway writes about an old fisherman and a young boy setting out to catch a big fish in The Old Man and the Sea. The old man, Santiago, has been fishing in the Gulf Stream with a young boy named Manolin. Manolin began fishing with Santiago when he was about 5 years old and feels that Santiago is a second father to him. He taught Manolin everything he knows about fishing and Manolin is very loyal to this old man. Santiago has been on an 84 day fishing slump and after 40 days, Manolin’s parents order him to go fish on a different boat which caught three fish in a week.
Manolin takes Santiago out for a drink on their way home and begin reminiscing about their early experiences fishing together. The young boy suggests that since he cannot fish with Santiago anymore, that he would like to help in some way, by possibly going out and getting sardines for him. Santiago then goes on talking about baseball and mentions Joe DiMaggio who was a great player for the Yankees in his time. The boy goes out to get the sardines and when he comes back the old man is asleep, so he wakes him up and they continue their conversation.
Manolin leaves after the eat and talk, and the old man goes back to sleep. Santiago dreams of the days when he was fishing in Africa and all the things he has seen. He awakes and goes to get the boy from his shack and they set out. The old man and young boy determine to catch a big fish and are very confident. Santiago thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her when they love her. ” (Hemingway 29) The younger fisherman talked of la mar as el mar because they saw her as an enemy, not their love. The old man sees la mar as femimine and something that gave out avors, not his enemy. He personifies the sea as a woman with womanly qualities such as not being able to control what she does (Hemingway 30). He spies a bird overhead and figures the bird spies something in the water, and follows it. Santiago remains determined to catch his big fish and continues telling himself his big fish is in the water with the others somewhere (Hemingway 35). Santiago sees the bird circle around again and ends up catching a ten pound Albacore. He begins talking to himself and his habit of doing so.
When him and Manolin would fish together, they would only talk at a necessary time and most fisherman took rarely talking as a principle. However, Santiago decides it’s okay to talk to himself at sea because it isn’t bothering anyone else. He thinks that if other men hear him talk to himself, he’ll be considered crazy, but rich men bring their radios to talk to them about baseball, so it shouldn’t be a bother (Hemingway 39). The old man feels a heavy tug at his line and gets excited. He notices the fish is holding the line sideways in his mouth and will easily turn and swallow the bait. Hemingway 43). He lets the line go through his fingers a little bit and fights with the fish, letting him eat the bait so the hook will puncture the fish’s heart to kill it. The fish begans pullin gthe boat, making Santiago wish Manolin had been there with him. He is thankful that the fish continues travelling instead of going down into the water (Hemingway 45). He thinks about how old the fish is, and if it has been hooked many times before knowing how to make his fight. He continues wishing Manolin was with him (Hemingway 50). The fight with this fish continues for a long while.
Santiago gets a cramp in his hand and has trouble trying to get it to go away, using his foot to replaced the hold of the line. The fish rises slowly and the old man can see its features. It turns out to be a marlin, two feet longer than his boat. His hand it still cramped and he keeps determining to uncramp it so he can catch this great fish. Santiago makes a promise to say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys so God would help him catch the fish (Hemingway 65). Santiago decides he need some sleep and hopes his hands don’t relax. He begins to dream of lions and Africa again until the marlin wakes him by jerking his line (Hemingway 82).
He has a long struggle with the fish until it comes up the side of the skiff. He then sticks a harpoon into the side of the fish and it rose out of the water, dead (Hemingway 94). A fast Mako shark begins following Santiago’s boat with the marlin tied to it. After a long chase, he finally kills the shark. Another pack of sharks attack him, however, and he must fight them off. He finds his way back home (Hemingway 120). He and Manolin get to talking and the young boy says he will begin fishing with Santiago again. The old man sleeps in his shack with the young boy watching him dream of lions (Hemingway 127).