I came across a copy of The Old Man and the Sea while cleaning a bookshelf. A required read in high school, I recalled very little of it. I was anxious to give it another look.
It’s a short story about a Cuban fisherman down on his luck. He’s an impoverished old man who maintains a relationship with a boy.
The boy was once taught to fish by the old man. He repays the elder by finding ways to attend to his sustenance. The two used to fish together before the old man’s string of bad luck caused the boy’s parents to insist their son fish with someone else.
A quote from the book:
“Luck is a thing that comes in many forms and who can recognize her? I would take some though in any form and pay what they asked.”
Hemingway successfully walks a tightrope, offering vivid descriptions while maintaining the flow of the story. He also captures the double-edged sword of angst, which faces the serious fisherman; the plague of drought (not being able to catch any fish) verses hooking the catch of a lifetime (and being able to successfully land it). Finally, there’s the struggle pitting man against beast. The old man possesses seasoned and hardened skill while the fish possesses great strength and power.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.