“Have and not have” Hemingway in summary

The novel, consisting of three novels, refers to the time of the economic depression of the 1930s.

Florida fisherman Harry Morgan from Key West makes a living by giving his motorboat to various rich people who came here to fish. They hire a boat together with the owner – he knows well where the biting is best and what kind of fish a lure is needed for. Harry prefers to be on good terms with the law and has made it a rule not to contact smugglers and not to engage in illegal fishing at all. But one day everything changes.

The chartered boat for three weeks, an American with whom Harry was fishing off the coast of Cuba, deceives the fisherman and, after spoiling it with a tackle, calmly flies away without paying back and paying damages.

Morgan expected to receive about six hundred dollars, he needs to buy gasoline to return to the States, we need money for life: his family has a wife and three daughter-schoolgirls.

Harry has to go on an illegal deal: for

a thousand dollars, he agrees to illegally take out from Cuba a few Chinese. The mediator makes it clear that the Chinese do not need to be delivered to the mainland, but simply slap on the road. Morgan prefers to kill the most rascal mediator, and puts the Chinese on the Cuban coast, not far from where he took them aboard. The Chinese, not realizing that they were saved from certain death, are unhappy that they were cheated, but they do not openly murmur.

Down and Out trouble started. Harry, who needs to feed his family, becomes a smuggler – he transports whiskey from Cuba to Key West. One day, when Harry and a Negro-mate make a private flight with a load of whiskey, they are caught up by a naval police cutter. They are ordered to stop. When the guards of the order see that they are not thinking of obeying the order on the motorboat, they open fire and injure Harry and the Negro. Those, however, manage to get away from the pursuit, but the Negro is completely limp, and Harry is hard at anchoring in the waters near Key West. The storm. Harry is afraid that mediators will not come for a dangerous load.


a boat passing by, whose owner, Willie, Harry’s friend, observes that something is wrong on Morgan’s boat. The passengers of the boat are representatives of the law, they realize that the wounded man on the boat is a bootlegger, and they demand that Willie come closer to the boat, but he flatly refuses. Moreover, he yells to Harry that if he has something superfluous on board, he would get rid of it and let him know: Willie did not see him in the face and will show it even before the trial. He says to his passengers that he will not go to the witnesses, and in general, if he comes to the proceedings, he will swear that he knows nothing and did not see the boat in his eyes.

Overcoming the pain in his hand, Harry throws the cargo overboard and directs the motorboat toward the harbor – he and the Negro need a doctor. Maybe his hand will be healed – he would be very useful…

The hand, however, can not be saved, now Harry’s right sleeve is pinned to the shoulder. His boat after the last case was arrested: the lawyers from Washington, who were on that day on the boat Willie, have achieved the same. But, as Harry tells the Friend, he can not allow his children to starve to belly, and he does not intend to dig for a ditch for the government for a penny. Harry still does not refuse illegal voyages – this time he is offered to deliver to Cuba four illegal immigrants. His friend Elbert agrees to help Harry, especially since they pay well for this job. They unanimously decide that there is no such law that a person starve. The rich buy land here, and soon the poor will have to go hungry to another place. Harry is not “red,” but, he says, his long evil takes from such a life.

Maria, Harry’s wife, since the husband agreed to the last dangerous offer, does not find a place for himself. These two elderly people are connected by a touching feeling, everyone still cares about the simple touch of another, and they understand each other from a half-word.

In winter, many famous and simply rich people come to Key West. Their problems are not similar to the problems of Harry, they do not need to earn money for food daily. They drink and start cheap intrigues – like Mrs. Bradley and writer Richard Gordon; that collects writers in the same way as their books. Passengers are more dangerous than Harry expected. They robbed the bank, and when boarding the boat for no reason slapped Albert. At the barrel of the rifle, Harry sails from the shore, realizing that the Cubans, after the completion of all cases, will also be allowed to use it. Cubans do not hide that they are revolutionaries, they are robbing and killing people, but this is all just for the sake of the revolution and the future triumph of justice, for the sake of the working people.

Lord, Harry thinks, to help people, they rob and at the same time kill the same common people. Everybody is crazy. Harry understands that he needs to get ahead of the Cubans and, in order not to condemn himself to the slaughter, to attack first. At a convenient moment, he snatches a pre-concealed machine and battles the Cubans in several turns. However, one Cuban finds the strength to make a retaliatory shot and hurts Harry in the stomach.

Lying on the bottom of the boat, Harry painfully thinks what Mary will do now. How will the girls grow up? Nothing, somehow live, she is a woman with a head, But I bit off more than I could chew. There’s a lot of money on the boat, and I can not give a cent to the family.

Drifting in the open sea, the boat is noticed by the Coast Guard. Many of the policemen who saw it in their time, coming closer, can not hide the confusion at the sight of the blood-stained deck. Harry is still alive, although unconscious. He mumbles something. “A man alone can not be a devil,” hear the guards stepping on the side. It’s clear that a terrible drama was playing out here – in the dead the police recognize the criminals who robbed the bank. But what is the role of Harry in all this? The boat is slowly pulled in tow to the pier by the rich yachts standing at the dock.

And on these yachts there is a life. On one – the graduate of Harvard, the millionaire Wallace is booing with a certain Carpenter, completely ruined by the type, which is said to be safely landed at the table of some rich man if dropped from a height of five hundred feet.

On other yachts – other people and other concerns. At the largest and most luxurious – a sixty-year-old breadboy turns on the bed, alarmed by the last account. Money – his only passion: the departure of his wife, with whom he lived for twenty years, he did not even notice. On the yacht, a famous playboy sleeps with his mistress – the wife of the famous Hollywood director. She lies beside him without sleep, contemplating whether to drink sleeping pills and why men are such rascals.

Mary is informed about what happened. Together with her daughters, she sits in the hospital, all four earnestly pray that her husband and father will survive. But Harry dies without regaining consciousness, and Maria feels that something has died with her inside, she remembers how fierce he was, strong, like some rare animal. Better it was not a man in the world. Now she will also have to become dead – like most people.

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“Have and not have” Hemingway in summary