Reading: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was assigned for
me to read this semester in a Modern American Novel class. I had never
read anything from Hemingway before but, being apart of the public
school system, I had heard A LOT about him and was anxious to read his
work. I had this goal over the summer that I would read all of the
books that were assigned to me for the Fall semester but this did not
happen. I only read one book and that was, The Old Man and the Sea. I
read it right when I returned from a cruise vacation. Although the book
is small and seems like it would be a quick read, I found it to be
longer than expected and tedious. The story was interesting but I was
not sure how this book could be considered a classic. I spoke my
opinions out to my parents and my dad, who is not a literary scholar
type man at all, pointed out that the book is not supposed to be what
most people think. It is a book about reflection and it is simple.
These words made me appreciate the book more.
The book centers around an old man named Santiago and it has been
days since he has caught a fish. Fishing is his life and so every day
he goes out to the water and today is his lucky day. A fish bites his
line and begins to pull Santiago’s boat. He pulls the boat all the way
out to sea and the story centers on Santiago’s inner thoughts for three
days at sea. The sea is very lonely and isolated which symbolizes
Santiago at this stage in life - an old man with no one. When Santiago finds
an opening to sleep, he dreams of powerful lions that symbolize his
yearn to be young and whole again. Santiago has been dubbed by
Christian scholars as a Christ-figure and at first I too sort of saw a
small resemblance but after finishing the novel I would have to disagree
completely. The fact of the matter is, Christ died to save the world
from sin. Santiago symbolically died but for his own achievements and
gains. Christ was destroyed but not defeated. He rose from the dead.
Santiago returns destroyed and defeated.
The book was good but I still think it was a bit blah. Overall I
really enjoyed how reflective it was but in terms of characters and
themes, there was not much. I will give the book a 3 out of 5 stars.