The Old man and the sea

The Old Man and the Sea vintage classic and Pulitzer Prize winner, written by Ernest Hemingway is shorter than a conventional novel and is written in simple language. This lends to it being easy and enjoyable to read. The Old Man and the Sea is a unique story of man’s conquest against the elements in which he lives.

Set in the Golf Stream off the coast of Havana, it is the story of an old fisherman, a caring young boy and a huge fish. The old man has been branded “Salao” – the worst form of unlucky, after eighty-four days of fishing without a catch. The old man perseveres hoping to break his unlucky streak. He does so eventually, hooking a fish so large it tows him and his skiff, way out to sea. The fight continues for three days and two nights, both the man and the fish growing weaker, but more determined every minute. The reader experiences every second of pain, triumph and tragedy. Throughout the ordeal the old man realises how much he misses the company of his companion, the boy. As the story draws to its conclusion, the old man faces the erpic struggle between being the hunter and the hunted.

Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961) is one of the great authors of the period after World War I. In his early works he depicted the life of two types of people. One type consisted of men and women whom WWI had deprived of faith and now lived in disregard of anything except their own emotional needs. The other type comprised of simple characters; he wrote of their courageous and usually futile battles against circumstances. Heminway’s style of writing changed in 1937 from stories of helplessness and defeat to works that revealed a positive attitude towards life. Hemingway’s distinct style is characterized by concise dialogue and emotional understatements.  Hemingway’s writings had a profound influence on the American writers of his era, many of whom adopted his style of writing.