September 25, 2011

Looking Back: Hemingway of the Sea

The Old Man and The Sea
Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea is a short, but beautiful and meaningful story that is told in simple, non-cluttered sentences. The story follows an elderly fisherman living in extreme poverty in Cuba. He begins by introducing a boy who used to come and fish with the old man, and still cares greatly for him. The old man taught him everything he knows. The boy’s parents made the boy stop fishing with the old man, because he was not very successful fishing on his small boat, they wanted him to fish with the fisherman with better boats and equipment. The old man hadn't been catching anything for several long days before the story begins, but he never gave up.

The story is about the day the old man goes to sea, and meets his match in a fish with a spirit and fight just like the man himself. If you are interested in picking stories apart for their literary devices (as I've been known to do every once in awhile), this one would be great a great example to start with. I'm not saying it is formulaic or predictable, but when you start looking closer at the details you can see some classic examples hidden beneath the surface. I really enjoyed this book, but then again, I pretty much love everything I've read of Hemingway's. This is a short read though, and I think everyone could find the time to slip it into their to-read lists. Like all classics though, take time to process and evaluate the material, and don't begin with judgments or ideas about the book beforehand.

If you've read it, let me know what you think in the comments!

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