1) Author’s name: Ernest Miller Hemingway
2) Notes on the author, his life, his works and time:
Ernest Miller Hemingway was born in 1899 at Oak Park, a highly respectable suburb of Chicago, where his father was a doctor. Although energetic and successful in all school activities, Ernest twice ran away from home before joining the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter in 1917. After 1923 he took to a life as of bull-fighting, big-game hunting, and deep-sea fishing. He visited Spain during the Civil War. Latterly he lived mostly in Cuba and died in July 1961.
His best-known books were ’A Farewell to Arms’, ‘Death in the Afternoon’, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
3) Title: The Old Man and the Sea
4) Published by: Penguin Books
Date of publication: 1952
Number of pages: 114
Part of a series of matching novels: no
A: Novelette = it is a pretty short story
B: Novel of traditional realism = it is a story about a fisherman at work
6) Structure of the work:
a: Division into nothing (it is one story with no interruption)
* social setting: very poor people
* geographical setting: somewhere in the Gulf Stream
* historical setting: the fifties
* initial incident: Santiago leaves to fish
* climax: Santiago finally gets to land but without the fish and Manolin will go fishing with him
7) Account for the title and their relevance to the work:
The story is about an old man, Santiago, who is a fisherman. And some fishermen tend to do their fishing in the sea.
8) Themes of the work:
The struggle between a man and a gigantic fish.
The relationship between nature and mankind.
Santiago, a fisherman, has not caught a fish in 84 days. One day, when he can’t take Manolin, he catches a marlin and there is a big struggle.
Santiago: a fisherman who is poor and loves the sea and its contents.
Manolin: a boy who can’t go and fish with Santiago (because his parents forbid him) and he likes to go with him.
11) The way the story is told: Third-person narration
12) Type of language: Everyday language
13) Notes on the use of symbols:
Santiago trying to catch the fish is the symbol of man trying to achieve the impossible.
The baseball (Joe DiMaggio is a hero to Santiago) symbolizes the wealth while Santiago is poor.
I did not like this story at all because it was so boring. An entire book about a man who is fishing is a bit exaggerated I think.
Santiago is a fisherman and he is very old. He fishes in a skiff in the Gulf Stream on his own. For 84 days he has caught nothing at all. The first 40 days he goes out fishing together with a boy called Manolin. Manolin is a very good friend of Santiago’s, but after forty days of fishing without any result, Manolin is no longer allowed to go fishing with Santiago anymore because his parents tell him, that he has to look for a boat with more luck. The boy is very angry because his parents just forbid him to go fishing with Santiago but he helps him where possible. The next time the old man went to sea alone again. This time he has more luck, he hooks an enormous marlin. The next two days Santiago’s boat is dragged along by the marlin, while Santiago waits until the fish will die of food shortage. Meanwhile he catches a dolphin, which he eats. Then the marlin suddenly swims to the surface and Santiago kills him with his harpoon. He fastens the fish to his skiff and he sails back to the harbour. But on the way back, sharks attack the dead marlin. He kills three sharks but the marlin is totally eaten up and he loses his harpoon. Very disappointed, tired and with damaged hands he goes back to the harbour where he arrives at night. He goes home and falls asleep. The next morning Manolin sees many fishermen in the harbour looking at Santiago’s skiff. He is very happy because his friend is back and he goes to Santiago’s house and sees the old man with his bloody hands. He starts to cry and stays with the old man until he awakes. Then he promises that he will go fishing with him the next time, no matter what his parents say. He feels that he has to help this man and that there is a lot he can learn from him.
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