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The Old Man and The Sea Summary

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By Ernest Hemingway, this book is the story of a fisherman and his struggle to capture a Marlin, his greatest catch.

An Overview of the Plot

Santiago is an old fisherman who has fished for 84 days without any luck. He has an apprentice who would have to switch to more successful boats by demand from the boy’s parents. The boy cares for Santiago by giving him food and talking to him about baseball.

Santiago believes his success is coming soon, and on day 85, he goes further into the sea. He sets his bait, and at noon, a Marlin is caught. It is too big and strong pulls the man’s boat.

The man pulls with his hands and back in pain, afraid of tying his line to the boat as he believes the fish might escape. The struggle goes on an entire day and through the night and also the next day. Santiago is getting cuts from the line as the fish tries to escape, but he is determined. He respects the Marlin.

The next day, the Marlin tires and Santiago pulls the line closer so that he could harpoon it. He is successful and pulls the harpooned fish into the boat, and it is enormous. He marvels at the price it would fetch.

However, the blood from the fish attracts predators. Santiago has to fight Marko Sharks with his harpoon and loses it in the process. He creates a spear from his oar and knife and kills some predators. He kills sharks with his spear but more keeps coming, and he realizes that it is pointless. The Predators get to his fish and devour it, reducing it to a skeleton.

Santiago gets back home, he regrets sacrificing the fish and also sailing too far into the ocean. He goes into his house and sleeps. His boat is surrounded by a crowd watching the carcass. The boy who was worried by Santiago’s disappearance find him asleep and tears up. The man wakes after some time, and they decide that they would fish together again. The man goes to sleep again and dreams of Africa where lions are playing.

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