The Old Man and the Sea: Reading Assignment

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Updated: May 16, 2022
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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is a novel about the adventure and battle of an old fisherman named Santiago and his struggle of catching a fish. This novel is very interesting and has an alluring plot which keeps the reader enticed to the book at all times. It can easily be said that the overall rating of this novel is a four out of five stars due to the liveliness and vitality of the plot.

The plot initiates the story by introducing Santiago, a decrepit fisherman from Cuba.

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The author uses similes to describe the way that Santiago is dressed and how he looks. The author compares Santiago’s clothes to a snail. Santiago goes out on the water to go fishing every day, but returns with nothing for eighty-four days straight.One day, Santiago commits the unusual act of sailing out farther into the ocean than he normally does, so he can increase his chances of catching a fish. Santiago drops his lines and waits. Out of nowhere, something seems to be pulling on Santiago’s bait. Little does Santiago know, an enormous and hefty marlin is hooked onto the line. Santiago hooks the fish, but he struggles to pull the fish in and onto the boat. The author uses imagery in Santiago’s dialogue to describe the characteristics of the fish.The fish pulls and moves the boat for hours and hours, then days pass by. Finally, after a long tussle with the fish, Santiago kills the marlin with a harpoon. When Santiago pulls in the fish, he is in great disbelief at the size of the fish. He states that it is the most colossal fish he has ever seen. Santiago then decides to sail back home. As Santiago returns home, sharks attack his boat as a result of blood dripping from the fish. He attempts to fight off the sharks, but more sharks constantly keep on coming. Santiago stops fighting as soon as he realizes that it is pointless. The sharks end up eating the fish, leaving nothing but bones. Finally, Santiago makes it home and goes into his shack to sleep.

There are many strengths and weaknesses that can be seen when it comes to evaluating the book and its inner content. One strength of the book is the meaning behind the relationship between Santiago and the ocean. Santiago loves and values the sea and everything inside of it. This can be seen when Santiago refers to the sea as “La Mar”. He refers to it as that because of his love for the sea.Later in the story. Santiago says that the fish is more noble than him, which shows his respect for the marine life. It becomes ironic because Santiago later kills the Marlin and sharks as he loses his honor and breaks the Hemingway code. The author does a great job of creating a relationship between man and object which really adds to the beautiful meaning behind the actual story itself. Although this is a great strength, there’s is also one major weakness. This weakness can be seen in the beginning of the novel. A young boy named Manolin enters the novel. He becomes Santiago’s friend, but is then told to not fish with Santiago anymore because of the lack of success Santiago has recently been getting. Many can agree that Manolin is an irrelevant character that was added into the story for no reason. He did not contribute to the plot nor did he have an important role throughout the story. This unimportant character is there just to waste space in the book and has no purpose at all. There are many more strengths and weaknesses that can be some about the novel.

In conclusion, a main theme that can be taken out of this book is that one should keep on trying until they achieve their goal. This could be shown throughout the whole novel as Santiago’s perseverance lets him continue to keep on going as he catches the marlin. This novel encourages readers that if you have faith, nothing is impossible. This book is recommended for people who love and have a strong connection with nature because they will be able to relate to Santiago while reading the book. This book is not recommended for people who give up on things easily because of the difference between the reader and the central theme of the story.

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The Old Man and the Sea: Reading Assignment. (2021, Apr 29). Retrieved from