Reading Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

This is such an interesting story. It’s my first Hemingway book, but I’ll definitely be reading more from him. He’s a fascinating person and I want to learn more about him.

Interest in the author aside, the story itself was quite remarkable. At the beginning I kept wondering what the point was, but I kept reading. I loved the struggle between the old man and the marlin. It was amazing how he persevered through everything and struggled to win his battle. I liked how Hemingway depicted the old man’s fight to stay sane and strong. **Spoiler Alert** My heart broke for him when he sailed back home, but I liked the way his attitude toward his great catch changed. At first he was proud of his fish and kept looking at it, but as the sharks tore away the pieces, he grew to regret killing such a beautiful fish and began wondering about right and wrong. **End Spoiler**

How often do we become the old man, struggling against God and nature to achieve a goal, only to find out that it wasn’t meant to be? The saddest part is the regret that we feel over the sacrifices made, both by ourselves and the people or things we destroyed to accomplish our goal.

It’s a thought provoking book, and one that makes you take a step back and ask yourself if the reward will be worth the struggle.


About the Book:

  • Age range: Adult (appropriate for teens, too)
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reissue edition (May 5, 1995)


The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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  • Reply
    rosemond cates
    May 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I love this book. Of all my book chats, I still remember the awesome discussion with my dad about this book…I love that this short little tale packs such a punch!

  • Reply
    Laura Thomas
    May 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I loved the original movie. I just recently stumbled upon an old copy of the book in my favorite used book store and can't wait to read this!

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