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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on May 20, 2004
I gave this book, The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemmingway, four stars because I thought it was a pretty good book for us to read in school. At first I thought it might have been boring because it is all about one man and 3 days of his life trying to catch a fish, but it was very intense and exciting mostly the whole book. Hemmingway did an excellent job making a fishing trip exciting. His writing was extremely detailed throughout the whole book which made it very easy to read. He shows this when he is describing the old man in the beginning of the book and says "The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea where on his cheeks" (9-10).

Not only was the description very detailed, the characters were developed very well. I really liked how there was only two main characters in this book because that is all he needed to get the message across to his readers. He shows how developed the characters are when the boy, Manolin, say to Santiago "You must get well fast for there is much that I can learn and you can teach me everything" (126). This shows what the boy's relationship with the old man is like; they are close and really respect each other. He also showed the character development of Santiago when he says "I can do it as long as he can...", the he he is talking about is the marlin shark that he is trying to reel in (53). He is showing how devoted he really is to what he does for a living and how he feels about life in general.
Originally I thought that the plot was going to be kind-of boring because it was just about one fishing trip over three days but it ended up being very exciting. I really enjoyed this book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to read a well written, exciting, short book.
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on May 20, 2004
I gave the book The Old Man and the Sea four stars. I gave it four stars because though I enjoyed the book, I found it boring at times and sometimes hard to follow. Although the book was sometimes boring it had great detail that made you feel as though you were right there with the old man trying to pull in the huge marlin fish. In using such vivid description he put you into the story feeling the sorrow the same sorrow for the old man that the boy felt.
I suppose I found the book boring at times because I sometimes felt as though I was reading about things that had no relevance to the story. Which in turn also made it hard to follow and I would get confused. But, I kept reading because the determination of the man to catch a fish kept my interest to see if he really would get that big one he was waiting for. Hemmingway makes you become emotionally invested in the story. "No one should be alone in their old age....But it is unavoidable" (pg. 48) When the old man says this you feel bad for him and you hope never to become that way.
The old man possess much determination he shows this by never giving up. "Fish...I'll stay with you until I am dead." (pg.52) The old man says this during his chase of the big marlin. When he says this you can hear the determination in his voice and you know he will get this fish or die.
I would recommend this book for others because although there were some parts that were boring are hard to follow it was a good book and I thought it had a great lesson behind it. Never give up. I think this lesson is proved when Hemmingway writes " But man is not made for defeat... a man can be destroyed but not defeated" (pg. 103).
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on May 12, 2004
The Old Man And The Sea was a great book that took me on a long journey through out the struggles of Santiago a Cuban fisherman that has naught had a catch in 84 days. The old man seemed to be very wise and would not give up. The old man had a friend named Manolin. Their friendship stays strong throughout the story.
Santiago is a good man and Manolin is forbidden by his parents to work further with Santiago because he is bad luck. Their friendship goes on though and Manolin helps providing Santiago with food clothes and bait. The old man seems to have had a successful past with fishing this is told with his badly scarred hands and many wrinkles. Santiago is optimistic and does not give up on fishing and instead decides to go deeper into the ocean to catch fish.
Santiago sets out early in the morning and sets out towards the deep sea to catch tuna. Hemingway describes the ocean with sensory details, telling how the ocean smells as Santiago leaves the land, how the ocean looked filled with see weed and how the fish sounded as they flew out of the water. I had a very good picture in my head of the ocean that Santiago was sailing into. Santiago seems very peaceful and respectful as he waits for the fish to bite, referring to the ocean as a female unlike most fisherman that would think of the ocean as masculine and capable of destruction.
The old mans wait is over as he feels a fish nibble on his line. Santiago waits awhile as the fish keeps nibbling. This part of the book was boring because Santiago was just thinking about his friendship with Manolin and Joe Dimaggio. The struggle of catching this Marlin goes on through the night and into the next day. Santiago starts experiencing more problems that made me think he was going to give up. Hunger, sleep deprivation and pain in his hand had all made me think his struggle would soon be over and he would give up on this large fish. Santiago had finally won the battle and had caught the marlin. This made me feel like the struggle was all over but he still had not won.
Santiago had started his journey back to land. Many sharks had attempted to eat the fish and the first one was successful in taking much of Santiago's catch. I showed he really wanted this catch because he had tried everything to catch this fish and to defend it against sharks. Santiago was a good man and felt sorry for the fish and was regretting that he had ventured out so far into the ocean. I felt frustrated for Santiago in the end because he was such a hard working old man and had some bad luck.
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on April 25, 2004
This book is about an old man named Santiago, who has been down on his luck. He has been fishing for 84 days and has not had a catch. On the 85th day, he decides he will fish out farther in sea than any fisherman has ever done before. His has faith that he will make a big catch by going out that far. After being out at sea for some hours he has a bite. For two days he let the marlin (big fish) pull him out farther in to the sea. The marlin finally gives up and Santiago harpoons it in the heart. The blood from the marlin is leaving a mile trail behine the boat. Sharks begin to come and demolish the marlin. Santiago kills off each shark that takes a bite at the marlin but by night fall it is to late to save the marlin. When he returns to his island, he tries to carry the mast out of the water. He falls 5 times the he just leave it on the beach after that. The scene reminds you of when Christ carried the cross and continues to fall because of the weight. Santiago makes it home, and his good friend Manolin is glad to see he's home safe. Manolin tells Santiago he saw the skeleton of the marlin he caught and the size was 18 feet. Santiago would be reconized forever for his catch although he feels he have been defeated.
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on March 19, 2004
Any fisherman going eighty-seven days without a catch would be considered by many as unlucky. But when the old fisherman Santiago managed the feat not just once, but twice, he rightfully earned the dubious distinction of being outright salao-the worst form of unlucky. However, when he sets out on his eighty-fifth day for the deeper reaches of the sea he remains as determined as ever. This passion and determination beam forth from his eyes, "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated" (10). His pride long lost, he sails on, deeper and further than ever.
Perhaps he is merely fulfilling his duty to a task he was born to, or perhaps a debt owed to the unflagging loyalty of a young boy named Manolin who continues to believe and care for him. But most likely, it was Santiago's unbridled belief that la mar would once again open her arms and embrace the fisherman she had known and loved for so many years. Irregardless, Santiago sets sail hours before sunrise fatally optimistic, "Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready" (32). Santiago captures the adage that success is achieved where opportunity meets preparation. But it is this blind faith in his ability and the righteousness of the universe that blinds him to the fact that his odds are really no better than Sisyphus'.
Santiago's fishing expedition begins auspiciously after catching a ten-pound tuna. It is perhaps one of life's greater ironies that man is so deceived by such a token gift that his faith is restored in himself and that of divine justice moments before it was to be thrown overboard. Yet the fisherman's years have made him quite attuned to nature as he immediately realizes the significance of a man-of-war bird circling above him. He sinks his line deep in the ocean and hooks an eighteen-foot fifteen hundred pound marlin, thus beginning an epic struggle between man and beast that would last two days.
The fisherman's line wound taught and on the verge of snapping, parallels that of his physical and mental suffering. Alone and fledgling, Santiago realizes how lonely he is, and perhaps how life is more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with. Santiago says aloud, "I wish I had the boy. To help me and to see this" (48). His determination is as resolute as that of the marlin, or any being of nature left desperate and bereft, "Fish, I'll stay with you until I am dead. He'll stay with me too, I suppose..." (52). Their fates have become entwined both in life and death.
The fisherman realizes the sorry predicament that life has put him and all God's creatures in, "Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him" (75). Finally, the marlin weakens and Santiago is able to harpoon him. He proceeds to tie the marlin to his skiff and begins the long journey home to the Terrace. The struggle weakened the fisherman sufficiently to make his catch vulnerable to an onslaught of hungry sharks. Fending them off the best he could, his efforts were no match for the relentless number of sharks.
After finally seeing the lights of his beloved Cuba in the distance, Santiago experiences a moment of clarity after reflecting on the loss of his marlin to the sharks while journeying home, "It is easy when you are beaten. And what beat you, he thought. Nothing, I went out too far" (120). He is to blame for his misfortunes. His pride led to his downfall, but presumably he is somehow a better and wiser man for taking on nature and living to tell about it. Reminiscent of Sisyphus rolling his rock up the mountain for the first time, Santiago will inevitably try again, and again will be left with nothing more than the experience that must ultimately end in failure.
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on February 16, 2004
An old man spent eighty-five days to catch a large marlin fish, while other people spent only a few days to fish tons. Though he sleeps in a single room hut and he couldn¡¦t catch a fish, moreover he has been isolated by other people and he has been experiencing tough luck to survival, he will always have the endurance to live his life. Though the condition has been negative, he still thinks positively and can cope with the stress with confidence. He finally caught a marlin that was eighteen feet long on the eighty-fifth day, yet the bloody smell of the dead marlin attracted ferocious sharks, and unfortunately the marlin became a meatless skeleton when the old man finally got home.
Hemingway had use the way of switching between reality and the old man¡¦s thought to show a person¡¦s psychological world. The old man kept on being challenged with difficulties and attacks from the brutal sharks. He suffered to fight against super natural force of nature and non-stop frustration and setbacks, but his confidence has always been there whatsoever and he always harbors hope in mind.
The old man is a symbol of man¡¦s indomitable spirit. The spacious ocean gives a sense of an endless feeling of loneliness, distance, and hopelessness. Hemingway wrote this short novel in a simple style that a primary student can understand in terms of language, however he communicated his perspective regarding the meaning of life in depth.
Though life is tough, just like how the old man fought against the gigantic marlin that was larger than the boat, we should always try our best to face the obstacles and find a way to solve the problems instead of escaping away from the difficulties. This refers to the old man in the book where he did not give up fighting to catch the marlin for the sake of survival. The old man seemed to be defeated when the marlin is eaten all up by the sharks, however he had made a success for he had fought against packs of sharks, and people had learned the spirit of dauntlessness from the old man.
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on February 12, 2004
Can you imagine being stuck in the middle of the ocean for 84 days with nothing
to eat but raw dolphin and flying fish? Consider fighting a battle with a marlin that
weighed more than 1,500 lbs. and measured up to 18 ft in length. Now you can with this
award winning novel by Ernest Hemingway.
The novel The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is a wonderful book.
It takes place in a small fisher village on the Gulf Stream. Santiago is a very kind,
thoughtful, loving, generous old man; an old man alone in a skiff fighting a great
marlin with a harpoon, a club and his life. He has some unwelcome company also. I'll try
not to give away what the company was but it sure loved the way the great marlin tasted,
and possibly the way Santiago tasted as well.
The book is wonderful no doubt but has some poorly written spots. The book is
wonderful but what are the chances that a man could survive for 84 days. Other than that
this novel is full of characteristics like hope when he was near to his home, and
endurance when he was stuck in the ocean and all hope was almost lost.
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on November 22, 2003
This is a story about a simple man, with simple ideas, with a simple life, with a simple, elemental encounter with the natural world: he catches a massive marlin that he battles unsuccessfully to bring to market. It is a tale of success in the midst of failure, of quiet stoicism and courage, and refusing to give in to the challenges the world throws at him. Most of all, it is a story about courage.
It is an excellent tale of how a man can overcome great tasks and survive terrible tragedies, while still having a will that is not defeated but rather presses on. The great task in this story is catching an extraordinary and noble fish.A story of an elderly fisherman who catches his greatest fish after days of bone-wearying battle only to lose it to sharks.
After heading out to sea, he realizes he is in for a greater challenge than expected. The old man, Santiago, encounters a battle with a great creature of nature and the elements. But, it doesn't end there. The struggle to get home after being beaten by the elements is the greatest challenge of them all. The old man shows his endurance and determination by remaining calm in the face of danger.Santiago of Hemmingway is the oldest fictional fighter I have read or heard of to date . That fact makes him at least one of the inspirations to all the writers or real life warriors to follow him .
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on October 30, 2003
Santiago is an old Cuban fisherman. In the book He has the battle of his life with a ferocious marlin. He is a very poor man and he has not had much luck with fishing in the past 84 days but with the help of a little boy named Manolin, he gets through the tough days of his life. His adventure with the giant fish begins eighty-five days after his last catch. The Old Man and the Sea is an appealing and an enjoyable book because Ernest Hemingway is an excellent writer.
The events and actions of this novel catch the attention of the reader as soon as they start the book. For example, Santiago was not angry with the other fishermen when they made fun of him. He is a good man and is so wise that being made fun of does not bother him. He is a good protagonist and a good character to read about. It helps to teach us to not let the little things bother us as much. The characters and their actions when dealing with controversy can be related to real life situations. For instance, the old man ignores all the laughing of the younger fishermen because he cannot catch any fish. This is like a student dealing with bullies and humiliation at school. These are some points that Ernest Hemingway made to interest to readers.
I think The Old Man and the Sea is a great book to read. My favorite part of the book was the climax when Santiago defeats the fish or the antagonist. I would recommend this book to anybody who likes a good book. Because it is an easy read and has valuable life lessons that people can apply to every day life. Hemingway's original style and the characters in this book make it a very good book to read.
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on June 2, 2003
When I first started reading The Old Man and the Sea was totally turned off to Hemingway's simplistic writing style. Although the more the book went on and the more I learned about the Old Man the more I liked the book. It was written with simple words and a simple plot but yet you can take so much out of the book. You can understand the pride the Old Man has for fishing because Hemingway puts so much emotion into the Old Man. The book consists of no pauses, page breaks or chapter markers which is something that I haven't experienced before. It makes you feel like you are right there with the Old Man through his journey with the marlin. I think chapters or pauses would take away from the Old Man's journey and make it seem less intense, especially when he hooks the fish. Over all it is a great book and would I would recommend it to anyone. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because I am used to reading books with more complex plots so to me the book seemed almost too simple but full of great morales you could take from it and apply to your life.
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