The old man and the sea (The Old Man and the Sea) is a short novel by the great American writer Ernest Hemingway published in 1952. It was written on his Cuban farm Finca Vigía and would bring him the Pulitzer Prize of 1952 only a year before obtaining the Nobel Prize. The old man and the sea It was made into a film directed by John Sturgess and played by Spencer Tracy and, in a later version, by Anthony Quinn.
The story takes place in Cuba where Santiago, known as “the old”, is a lonely and experienced old fisherman who in his youth has been one of the best in the port. But he hasn’t caught anything for 84 days, which Santiago attributes to bad luck. Not so the other fishermen who make him a victim of the well-known prejudices “old people” and they attribute it to the fact that it is already old and consequently its capacity would inevitably be diminished.
Manolín is a young man from the town who admires him and accompanies him from a very young age in his boat helping him with the sail and the nets. One day his parents decide that he will no longer work with Santiago because he is already very old man and it is a waste of time to embark with him. He can only, like so many others, wait for death under the torrid Caribbean sun.
On the 85th day of fishing, Santiago eludes, with his self-esteem wounded by the pitying and somewhat mocking looks of his colleagues, he decides that it is time to end his losing streak and show the others that he is still a good fisherman, that the The years have not affected his skills, and he throws his boat into the water determined to pluck some prey from the sea like the ones he used to get long ago.
This time the old man goes alone, without Manolín, and then he has conversations out loud with himself, reviewing the contingencies of his already long life. Suddenly a very strong tug on the line that he holds in his hand reveals that a fish has been hooked on the hook. Undoubtedly it is a big prey because of the violence with which he struggles to recover his freedom, and the old he holds on with all his might, the palms of his hands burning. The fish pulls so vigorously that she pulls the boat away from shore until she disappears over the horizon.
As night falls, the old man is exhausted and in pain, but the fight continues and he does not intend to give up. Much less for being old and that it can be said in the town that for this reason he let escape such a coveted fish. The battle to retain the fish continues and has lasted two days. Santiago’s physical pain is very intense, bordering on intolerable. But his tenacity is similar to that of a fish that doesn’t seem willing to give in either, and Santiago comes to feel respect for his rival and even a certain affection.
Finally the huge fish gives up and the oldWeakened by the battle and with the palms of his hands bleeding and raw, he cannot get him into the boat because of his weight. He then ties it to one side and begins the return home imagining the effect it would have on the others and on Manolín’s happiness.
But then he must face another challenge: the sharks that have smelled the blood of the swordfish and rush to eat it. The old He defends his trophy and kills some with his harpoon and when he loses it, he furiously hits the sharks with his oars and with the mast, but his efforts will be useless: in a short time, only the bones of the huge fish remain.
The old He returns to the port exhausted at nightfall, moors his boat, carries the mast on his shoulder as a metaphor for the cross, enters his house and goes to sleep. The skeleton of the huge fish tied to the side of the boat draws the admiring attention of some tourists who take pictures with it. The next day the old receives his award, Manolín, happy for the success of the oldpromises him that he will go fishing with him again despite his parents’ decision.
to Santiago to be old it does not prevent him from fulfilling his wish. On the contrary, precisely because old he feels that he cannot abandon his purpose, no matter how high the price to pay. defying the “old age” who already considered him a fisherman unused by the years.
“When they tell me that I am not going to be able to do something because I am oldI go and do it” he said Pablo Picasso, who painted until he was 90 years old.
Being an old man or woman and being aware of death does not mean resigning without a fight. Much less accept that deterioration is an irreversible sentence.
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Who said that because you are old you cannot fulfill your wishes? It’s the other way around