THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

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AUTHOR- ERNEST HEMINGWAY

PUBLISHED IN- 1952

PAGES- 127

SPOILERS AHEAD.

This was my first book of Ernest Hemingway. You know when you are acquainted with an author, you know exactly what to expect and where to expect plot twists. When it comes to new authors, it is almost erotic. You get surprised by the new touches, the new feelings and the way the author draws you towards the plot. Sometimes it feels as if you are witnessing a new romance. And once you have completed the book and you are satisfied with it, you know that you will get back to the author through another book of the said.

So, the book which got Ernest his Nobel prize for Literature! With the title and the award, I was expecting something in the lines of soul stirring and heartbreaks. I am not sure if that really happened. I wasn’t really excited in the beginning to start this book because I usually find tales of the seas as boring. They just don’t excite me. I won’t say that this book changed my views; they still remain the same. The basic plot of the book was about the struggle between an old man and a fish that he had caught. But I would like to believe that it was much more than that. It wasn’t just a fight between the two but in reality I found that the old fisherman was in a fight with himself. It was as if the fish had taken a form of his own self. In the beginning, the old man is unlucky for straight eighty four days, without catching any kind of fish. Then, on the next day he does catch one(which is later revealed to be eighteen feet in length). Although the fish was hooked, but the he refused to give up and infact kept stirring the boat for two days and two nights until finally the he is killed by the old man. Before killing him, the old man sometimes gets in a dialogue with the fish and appreciates it to the point that he almost doubts if there was anyone who even deserved the flesh of the fish. That made me feel everything that was there to feel. While returning, the old man had to fight with sharks who kept coming for the dead fish’s meat. Eventually he lost, or whatever that he seemed to believe when the whole of his fish was taken away by the sharks.

“Ay,” he said aloud. There is no translation for this word and perhaps it is just a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the wood.

This was nothing but a simple story which delivers a much powerful meaning if you can read between the lines. I don’t know whether or not Hemingway intended it to be read it that manner but I certainly found myself reading it as if the whole story was a metaphor for whatever there is in life.

There’s a movie adaptation of it and I will be sure to watch it. Probably before Tuesday!

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