In the beginning of the story, Santiago hasn’t had any luck fishing for eighty-four days. His apprentice, a young boy named Manolin is told by his parents not to fish with the old man because of his bad luck out at sea. In hope to renew his luck, Santiago decides to sail out further than usual for a length of three days. Eventually, Santiago hooks an eighteen foot long Marlin and experiences what seems to be an endless struggle to catch it. While attempting to do so, he is constantly injured by the fishing cord whenever the big fish tries to free itself. Despite his injuries and ceaseless fatigue from bearing the fishing line with his back, Santiago admires the fish, stating that whoever ends up eating the fish, doesn’t deserve to do so. Throughout the story, you also notice Santiago’s admiration for Manolin, who assists Santiago before and after his journey, despite his bad luck.
Hemmingway’s writing style is very concise and unembellished, and this story shows how his simplistic way of writing can make for a good read as well as an easy one. There are no chapters, just the three days of the old man’s journey. While reading, not once did I feel like taking a break from the story. If you’re looking for a quick read, but still want an exciting story to go along with it, I would suggest reading The Old Man and the Sea.
By Andrew R.