Eshita Lal

Studies in Grade VII at Deerwalk School, Sifal

Published On: February 5, 2023 12:02 PM NPT By: Eshita Lal

#Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea

#Book Review:

The Old Man and The Sea

Eshita Lal

Grade: VII

Deerwalk School, Sifal

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Genre: Fiction

Published Year: 1952


This book is the last fiction written by the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. It gives us the moral lesson to never give up in life no matter what.


The protagonist of this book is an old fisherman called Santiago. He is accompanied in fishing by a boy named Manolin whose parents later forbid him from fishing with Santiago. After being schooled by his parents, the boy goes to the boat which has caught big fishes. Santiago on the other hand sets out for fishing even after 84 days of no luck at all. At midday, a big fish takes the bait. But there seems to be a problem, as the fish starts pulling the boat instead. The fish keeps pulling the boat the whole day, night and even the next day and night. All this time Santiago has been bearing a lot of pain but endures it all.

On the third day the fish lashes towards him and he is able to injure it with his weapon. That ends up killing the fish. Santiago is amazed by his award and is desperate to sell and eat the food, but most of all he wants to return home. As Santiago is sailing towards his home, he does not notice that a trail of blood left by the fish is being followed by sharks. He eventually kills some but after night falls he is no in a state of fighting anymore, he is injured and moreover all his precious fish meat has been devoured by the beasts and is only left with the bones and skull. He reaches home and lashed in his sofa to sleep. The next morning, amazed fishermen turn up near his boat observing the huge skull and bones. Manolin is very worried about Santiago but he is relieved to see him okay and sleeping. He brings coffee for Santiogo and decides to become a partner again. The old man again sleeps and has a usual dream of lions at play on the beaches in Africa.

Critical Interpretation:

The message of this book is “never give up”. Santiago’s determination is praiseworthy, but it was really sad that he was not able to protect his fish. This book reflects our everyday life. Every person’s life comes through a lot of obstacles and people can’t always be there for us, we have to stand for ourselves. So, it tells us that escaping the obstacle is never a solution. Yes, we may fall sometimes but it doesn't mean we have failed, we make mistakes to learn and correct. It is said that “the only people who do not make any mistakes are those who do nothing”. This book teaches us that life is not a bed of roses but also not that tough to easily give up. Society might judge us for being old or for being young and sometimes judges our potential but we should never give up our belief that we all are our own heroes in our lives.

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