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In the book, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway tells a story of an

old fisherman. The old man, named Santiago, had gone for eighty-four days

without catching a fish. Santiago feels that the following day would be a

good day because eighty-five is his lucky number. The following day he gets

up before dawn and sets out for a day of fishing. He had set one bait at

forty fathoms, the second at seventy-five fathoms, and the third and forth

were at one hundred and one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. While Santiago

is fishing he sees a bird trying to get a flying fish that was being chased

by tuna. The old man tries to put his boat over the school of tuna in hope

of getting a catch. Suddenly something hooked itself on the bait that was

set at one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. The old man had caught a huge

marlin that was now pulling him out to sea. The fish continued to pull the

old man out to sea for about 3 days. The old man survived by putting one of

his other lines out so that he could catch fish and eat them in order to

keep his strength. On the third day he finally caught the fish. He had

pulled the fish in slowly and then threw his harpoon at the fish's heart

killing it instantly. The old man tied the fish to the side of his skiff and

began to sail home. As he was sailing a shark took a large bite out of the

fish he had caught. The old man harpooned the shark in his brain, and as the

shark rolled off of the fish it took the old man's harpoon with it. The old

man knew that there would be other sharks that would follow the scent of the

fish's blood. He tied his knife to the butt of one of his oars. Two more

sharks came and the old man killed them both. The second shark broke the

blade as it rolled off the fish. Desperate, the old man waited for the other

sharks. All he had left was a club, and he was going to use it. More sharks

came, but this time in a pack. The old man desperately fought off the shark

with his club, but the club was grabbed from his hands. He then ripped part

of his boat off and attempted to fend off the sharks. In the end the sharks

had eaten the fish down to the bone leaving the old man nothing. The old man

noticed that his skiff sailed faster without the huge fish tied on to the

side of his boat. When the old man got home he took all his belongings up to

his shack where he rested. The old man dreamed about lions, and he was

happy.

The first, and main character in the book The Old Man and the Sea is in

fact the old man, Santiago. The old man, Santiago, is a tough, persevering

man with fishing in his blood. Santiago just wants to fish because that is

what he lives to do. The old man constantly asks himself, "What would the

great DiMaggio do in a situation like this?" This leads us to say that

Santiago looks up to this base ball player whom he addresses as "The Great

DiMaggio" constantly. I like the old man because he was a strong old man,

and he was confident too. Even through the toughest tasks Santiago

perseveres. The old man improvises and never gives up, just like when his

fish was attacked by sharks. "But there was nothing to be done now. 'Yes

there is,' he said aloud. 'I can lash my knife to the butt of one of the

oars." Even in his darkest hours he kept on striving to protect his fish. He

killed many sharks and when he ran out of weapons he continued to fight.

"But the shark jerked backwards as he rolled and the knife blade snapped.

...reached under the stern for the club." The old man refused to give up.

Santiago would fight the sharks until he died. "Fight them,' he said. 'I'll

fight them until I die'" The other main character featured in this story was

the boy, whose name is Manolin. There is not much background on Manolin, for

he is not in most of the book. Manolin is a young boy who looks out for the

old man bringing him food and clothing. I disliked the boy. He left the poor

old man for a "luckier" boat. Had the boy stayed with the old man, there may

have been a chance of getting the fish back to the harbor intact. The boy

also had a foul mouth that I did not like at all. Though the boy did feed

and cloth the old man, he could have also fished with him.

Santiago lived in a shack by the water of Havana. The old man had to have

lived near a large city because when he was out at sea he looked for the

bright lights of Havana. There was a restaurant within walking distance of

his shack. The boy often got food, coffee and beer from the restaurant for

the old man.

I think there was a point that Ernest Hemingway was trying to get across in

his book. I think it was a self reflection of his life. He was a depressed

person, having committed suicide. The Old Man and The Sea is a depressing

book. I think the author was trying to illustrate how he was feeling so the

book reflected the author. I think a key point in this book was that life is

hopeless. The old man really had nothing to live for. The old man caught the

biggest fish he had ever seen, but in the end nothing remained. After he had

caught the fish and lost it he must have been worked. The boy was crying

because the old man was in such a bad condition. "He went out quietly to go

to bring some coffee and all the way down the road he was crying.

'...Sleeping,' he called. He did not care that they saw him crying. 'Let no

one disturb him.' '...D*** my fish,' he said and he started to cry again."

The boy cried a lot, it was either that he was very emotional, or that the

old man was doing poorly. The whole illustration of the book leads to say

that life is pointless. I think life is pointless without God.

My personal opinion of the book was that it was a sad story; a story of the

highlight of a man's life. There was one time in this guy's life when it

counted and he was let down. I did enjoy the fact presented in the book that

the old man was not discouraged in the end to the point of quitting. I

disagreed with the fact that there was really no resolution to the problem

of the story. That is what made the book so sad, that there really wasn't an

ending, and the problem was never solved. If I had written the story I would

have changed a few aspects of the story. First, I would have taken care of

the boys foul mouth problem. I would have probably made the boy a Christian

so that he would be talking to the old man throughout the book about the

truth. Doing this would have also been a witness to the people reading the

book. Second, I would have had the old man give his life to God in the end.

He would have realized that there is something more to life. The fact that

he had lost the fish would have had been no matter to him after he had given

his life to God. The story, after having these changes, would now be a happy

story with resolution to the problem.

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