Boekverslag : Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man And The Sea / De Oude Man En De Zee
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The Old Man and the Sea


Ernest Miller Hemingway

About the author

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on 21 July 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, America. His father was a doctor and he was the second of six children. In 1917 after leaving school he joined the Kansas City Star as a reporter. In May 1918 Hemingway joined the US Army as an ambulance driver on the front in Italy, where he was badly wounded but twice decorated for his services. He was just nineteen. He returned to America in 1919 and in 1920 he took a job with the Toronto Star, where he met Elizabeth Richardson. They were married in September 1920. In January 1922 they moved to Paris where Hemingway dedicated himself totally to writing literature. In 1923 he went on a short tour of Spain. In 1923 the Hemingways returned to Canada for the birth of their son in October and Ernest worked again for the Toronto Star. But in 1924 they returned to Paris. In September 1925 he completed his book `Fiesta`, which was dedicated to his wife and his son. But in 1926 Hemingway divorced her and in May 1927 he married Pauline Pfeiffer. He went to Spain again together with her during the Civil War and there he wrote his best seller `For Whom the Bells Tolls`, and in the following year they went to Key West, Florida. In 1936 Hemingway moved to Spain because he was afraid that Adolf Hitler would invade France. In 1940 he married his third wife, Martha Gellhorn. In 1944 he accepted a commission to report the war in Europe. He was one of the firsts to arrive on the beaches in Normandy. He became an unofficial officer but with his company he was the first to march into the French capital Paris. In 1945 he returned to Cuba and there he married his fourth wife Mary Welsh a year later. In 1954 he returned to Spain and he won the Nobelprize for his book `The Old Man and the Sea`. In 1960 he returned to America again. He became paranoid and on 1 July 1961 Ernest Miller Hemingway committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun.


Santiago is a fisherman and he is very old. He fishes in a skiff in the gulfstream 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.

Title & Explanation

The story tells about an old man who fishes in a skiff on the sea and who loves the sea and the animals, in it and above it.

The Main Characters

- The old man called Santiago

- The boy called Manolin

Time & Place


-On the sea in a skiff.

-In the village where the old man lives.

My Opinion

I find `The Old Man and the Sea` a very good book. It was very exciting, while the whole story just tells about the catching of only one fish, that sounds very boring, but it is not. You just do not stop reading because you just want to know if the old man is able to catch the marlin.
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