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  • Writer's pictureArijit Bhattacharya

Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea | Ernest Hemingway

This is the tiniest book on my bookshelf, but it has taken a much bigger place in my heart. This book with 99 pages will bring you to the middle of the sea, you will be on a small fishing boat with the old man Santiago, the adventure of eighty-four days will make you fall in love with this old man. His courage, energy, enthusiasm will remind you that how young the old man is. As a virtual partner, you probably can not accompany him so he will be all alone in this eighty-four days of journey and missing his only little friend Manolin.

This book was written simply and has two sides; one is adventurous, the other is full of life lessons. The main character of this book is the old man Santiago, who is a very experienced and skilled fisherman from Cuba. He was called “salao” by the local people of his area, which means he was at the worst form of unluckiness. The other highlighted character is Manolin, a young boy who learned fishing from Santiago and really loves and cares about him. Because of family restrictions Manolin wasn’t able to join Santiago in his next fishing journey, and just wished him very good luck. But it was Santiago’s fortune, his bad luck stayed with him for 84 days of his fishing on the sea of Cuba. Twist came on the 85th day, which suddenly changed the story when Santiago hooked a marlin fish. The smart giant marlin then started making him struggle every single moment. Though insufficient sleep, wounded hand, hunger, and thrust made Santiago physically weak but he was a young-minded old man who challenged the fish and vowed to kill this giant soon. It took 3 days to kill the fish. The story didn’t end here, he was with a piece of good luck this time but again luck betrayed him. As he was in the sea on the way to his home, a group of sharks attacked the dead fish. Then Santiago’s struggle continued with this verse of the story. Just imagine an old man in the middle of the sea with a dead fish attacked by a group of dangerous sharks, what could be more worse than that? After a treacherous fight finally, he was able to reach home with that giant, though only its trace remained there with him. The story ended with a bunch of beautiful and thrilling memories from the sea and a lesson to stay happy in every situation.

Santiago’s struggle with the giant marlin fish will thrill you up, but in the end, it will make you emotional. His relation with Manolin will remind you again that friendship has no age limit.

The unique diversity of this book makes it winning Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Nobel Prize in Literature for Ernest Hemingway.

I have finished it so early, and right now, I am missing it very badly. Now when I see the name “The Old Man and the Sea” it creates a clear world of imagination in front of my eyes, where I am on a fishing boat again with Santiago, he is struggling with the giant marlin and murmuring on his own that “I wish I had the boy”…

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Happy Reading!!!


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