“The Old Man and the Sea” by Hemingway in brief summary

“The old man was fishing all by himself on his boat in the Gulf Stream, and for eighty-four days he went to sea and did not catch a single fish. The first forty days with him was a boy, but day after day he did not bring a catch, and the parents told the boy that the old man now obviously salao, that is, most unlucky, and told to go to sea on another boat that actually brought three good fish in the first week. The boy was hard to watch as the old man returned every day with nothing and he went out on the shore, to help him carry the tackle or hook, the harp in a sail wrapped around the mast, the sail was all covered with patches of burlap and, folded, resembled the banner of the defeated regiment. “

This is the background of events that unfold in a small fishing village in Cuba. The protagonist – the old man Santiago – “thin, emaciated, his neck was cut deep wrinkles, and cheeks were covered with brown spots of non-dangerous skin cancer, which causes

the sun’s rays reflected by the smooth surface of the tropical sea.” He taught the boy Manolin to fish. The boy loves the old man, wants to help him. He is ready to catch him sardine as a nozzle for his tomorrow’s going to sea. They go up to the poor hut of Santiago, built from the leaves of the royal palm tree. In the hut is a table, a chair, in the earthen floor a groove for cooking food. The old man is lonely and poor: his meal is a bowl of yellow rice with fish. They talk with the boy about fishing, that the old man must be lucky, as well as the latest sports news, the results of baseball matches and famous players such as DiMaggio. When the old man goes to bed, he dreams about Africa of his youth, “long golden beaches and shoals, high cliffs and huge white mountains.” He does not dream of fights, women, or great events, but often his dreams arise distant countries and lions, coming ashore. “

The next day, early in the morning, the old man goes fishing. The boy helps him to tear down the sail, prepare the boat. The old man says that this time he “believes in luck.”


by one the fishing boats leave the shore and go to sea. The old man loves the sea, he thinks of him with tenderness, as a woman. Planting bait on the hooks, slowly swims with the flow. Mentally communicates with birds, with fish. Accustomed to loneliness, he speaks aloud to himself. He knows the different inhabitants of the ocean, their habits, he has a gentle attitude towards them.

The old man sensitively perceives what is happening in the depths. One of the twigs faltered. The line goes down, the old man feels a huge weight, which draws her after him. A dramatic multi-hour duel between Santiago and a huge fish unfolds.

The old man is trying to pull the string, but he does not work. On the contrary, it pulls, like in tow, a boat behind it. The old man regrets that he does not have a boy with him. But it’s good that the fish pulls to the side, and not down, to the bottom.

It takes about four hours. It is approaching noon. So it can not go on forever, the old man thinks, the fish will soon die and then it will be possible to pull it up. But the fish is tenacious.

Night. The fish pulls the boat farther from the shore. The lights of Havana are fading in the distance. The old man is tired, he tightly squeezes the rope, thrown over his shoulder. The thought of the fish does not leave him for a second. Sometimes he feels sorry for her. “Well, is not this fish a miracle, only God knows how many years she has lived in the world, I’ve never come across such a strong fish, and I just wonder how strange she behaves, maybe that’s why she does not jump, which is very clever” . He mentally talks to the fish. “I will not part with you until I die.”

The fish starts to pull not so powerfully, it is clearly weakened. But the strength of the old man is running out. His arm is numb. Finally the forest started to go up, and the fish shows on the surface. She burns in the sun, her head and back are dark purple, and instead of a nose – a sword, long as a baseball bat. It is two feet longer than the boat. Appearing on the surface, she begins to go back to the depths, pull the boat behind her, and the old man has to mobilize all forces to prevent her from falling off. Without believing in God, he reads “Our Father”. “Although this is unfair, I will prove to her what a person is capable of and what he can endure.”

Another day passes. To distract, the old man remembers about baseball games. He recalls how Casablanca once measured his strength with a mighty Negro, the strongest man in the port, as they sat at the table for a whole day, without lowering their hands, and how he finally got the upper hand. He has more than once participated in such fights, defeated, but then abandoned the matter, deciding that the right hand he needed for fishing.

The battle with the fish continues. He holds the forest with his right hand, knowing that when the forces run out, the left will replace it. The fish comes to the surface, it approaches the boat, then departs from it. The old man is preparing a harpoon to finish off the fish. But she steps aside. From fatigue thoughts are confused in the old man’s head. “Listen, fish,” he says to her, “After all, you still need to die, why do you need me to die, too.”

The last act of the fight. “He collected all his pain, and all the rest of his strength, and all his long-lost pride and threw it all against the pangs that the fish suffered, and then she turned over and quietly swam on her side…”. Lifting the harpoon, he struggles to plunge his fish into the side. Feels like the iron enters her flesh, and sinks it deeper and deeper…

He is overcome by nausea and weakness, he has a fog in his head, but he still pulls the fish to the side. Binds the fish to the boat and starts moving to the shore. Mentally estimates: the fish weighs not less than one and a half thousand pounds, which can be sold at thirty cents per pound. “I think that the great DiMaggio could be proud of me today.” The direction of the wind indicates to him, in which direction to swim, to get to the house.

An hour passes before the first shark is shown. Having smelled the smell of blood, she rushes after the boat and the fish tied to her. She approached the stern, dug into the fish, began to rend her. The old man struck her with a harpoon. She sinks to the bottom, dragging with her harpoon, part of the rope and a huge piece of fish. “Man is not created to suffer defeat.” A person can be destroyed, but you can not win. “

It is supported by a piece of fish. He notices the fins of a whole pack of sharks. They are approaching with great speed. The old man meets them, lifting his oar with a knife attached to him. The sharks attack the fish. The old man enters into battle with them. One of the sharks kills. Finally the sharks were behind. They already had nothing to eat.

When he entered the bay, everyone was asleep. Having removed the mast and tied the sail, he felt tired. Behind the stern of his boat was a huge fish tail. From it there was only a skeleton.

On the beach, the boy meets a tired, crying old man. He reassures Santiago, assures them that from now on they will fish together, because he still has much to learn. He believes that he will bring good luck to the old man.

In the morning, rich tourists come ashore. They are surprised to see a long white spine with a huge tail. The waiter tries to explain to them, but they are very far from understanding the drama that happened here.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Hemingway in brief summary