The Old Man and the Sea, a powerful and enduring story

Photo by Dan Koehler

Photo of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.

Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea, is a powerful story and one of his most enduring works.  Written in 1952, this tale is still popular to this very day and conveys a strong message that can be related to anyone in their daily lives. The Old Man and the Sea has won many awards such as the Pulitzer Prize, and even helped Hemingway win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. This piece has been mentioned to be the best work ever done by Hemingway by critics throughout the ages.

The novel tells the tale of Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman who has not caught a fish in 85 days. As bad as his luck is, the old man stays positive, and on the 85th day, Santiago finds himself in a battle with a great marlin: the biggest he has ever seen. As he tries to catch the monster of a fish and bring it home to the mainland the old man finds himself having an epiphany about his life.

The language in the novel is simple but the book is well-structured. Hemingway creates a vivid image of a man on a boat out in the sea. With each page turned, the reader feels the suffering of the old man as he tries to catch his prize fish. The reader also feels his love for the creature. To Santiago, the fish is not only his greatest challenge as a fisherman, it is his greatest personal battle with himself.

Hemingway has an art for creating stories that explore the ways a person can look inside themselves to find the strength to see things in a different light. The Old Man and the Sea shows that objects can be metaphors and also illustrates how the simplest task can have a deeper meaning.

Inspired by Hemingway’s time in Cuba, The Old Man and the Sea is an iconic novel because of its simplicity to convey a deep message. This book is recommended for young teens to adults.

The message of internally viewing success is extremely powerful, to the point of a personal epiphany through the words of Hemingway. It is not a long read, but an important read. Those who are already well-read will thoroughly appreciate this voyage onto the open sea.

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Frank Katradis is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, he enjoys covering world news with specific interests in business, politics, humanitarian, and world culture . He likes to spend his spare time cooking, learning about different cultures, and reading . Frank hopes to work around the world covering stories that need to be told.