Summary of “The Old Man and the Sea”

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The story of The Old Man and the Sea is the tale featuring a struggle between an aging Cuban and his greatest catch. For eighty-four, long days, Santiago has set out only to return home empty-handed. His unlucky contests have earned him quite the reputation, even his young friend and apprentice, Manolin, has been forced by his parents to leave that business in order to work for a more deserving wage. Nevertheless, Manolin continues to care for Santiago when he returns each night. He helps transport his gear to his impoverished hut, delivers food, and discussing America’s pastime, especially the headlines of hero, Joe DiMaggio. And although there seems to be little hope, Santiago seems very confident about setting out into a farther out adventure the next day.

On the eighty-fifth day of his cursed streak, Santiago does as he had said, going far beyond the shallows and pursuing into the Gulf Stream. He prepares and drops his machinery. At noon, there is a tug on the gadgets Santiago has placed deep in the abyss. The operative grapples his prize, but he cannot muscle it and win the initial fight. Instead, the trophy pulls back with much force and gives the old timer a run for his money. He takes the yank of the catch with his whole body, ready to expertly pull it in when the chance is given.

The catch pulls Santiago and the haul for many days, not letting up. It paddles steadily northwest until at last it tires and continues east with the current. The entire time, Santiago experiences prolonged pain from a cut he got from the initial fight. Although hurt, he keeps his values of empathy and admiration for the struggling fighter below him. On the third day, both sides become tired, but Santiago musters up the strength to pull in and harpoon his brother in arms. Dead beside him, Santiago can’t help but notice the immense size of his kill. He secures it abs sets a course for home, in hopes that his prize will bring him money to support him for awhile. But he is also merely concerned that the people who will purchase apart of his winning are unworthy of it.

As Santiago continues on with, the trail of blood left behind has brought on some unwelcome company, apex predators from the depths. Santiago manages to harpoon the first, but loses his weapon and rope, leaving him susceptible to the many more attacks to come. He defends himself as best he can, lunging at them with a makeshift spear and clubbing them with the tiller. As night falls, and the predators continued fight shows no signs of letting up, Santiago realizes his opposition to the scavengers is useless. They have devoured the meat, leaving only the worthless corpse. Santiago becomes upset with himself for going beyond his boundaries and for sacrificing such a worthy opponent, only to lose it to a group of carnivores. He arrives on shore late that night, sorrowfully walks to his shack, and falls into a deep sleep.

The next day, an amazed crowd centers around the carcass of Santiago’s catch and many view it as an extraordinary end to a long, unlucky streak. Nervous over the absence of his friend, Manolin is ecstatic to find Santiago in his bed on that morning. He happily goes to pick up some coffee and the daily papers for his elderly acquaintance. When he finally wakes, Manolin surprises him with the good news that he will come back to work for his aging friend. Satisfied, Santiago falls back asleep and has his favorite dream, lions playing on beaches in Africa.

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Summary of “The Old Man and the Sea”. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/summary-of-the-old-man-and-the-sea/

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