I remember glancing over this book in high school. It was quick, easy, and I didn’t really remember all that much about it. I kept getting it mixed up with Moby Dick. So when I started to read the classics this past year, I made sure to put it on my “To-Read” list. It is a very easy book to read, and also quite short. It is easily readable in a day. Also, it won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1953. I looked that up – Pulitzer Prizes are awarded for excellence in a work of fiction by an American author. Even though it is set in Cuba, Ernest Hemingway was still American, and was therefore granted this prestigious honor.
At first it seems like a simple enough story – an old man and his greatest catch. But there is a certain reflective quality of self-awareness in the fisherman. It is hard for mean to determine all of the hidden implications and meanings that were instilled in this work so long ago, but I think I picked up on the main ones. The battle of man versus nature and the cost of pride. Self-awareness and the knowledge of experience. Love in its different forms. I found them all in this short and simple work. It is a book that can resound with just about anyone and have different meanings for each person. I have heard that it can be related to the life of Jesus. That is a comparison I would love to read. I also thought this was a very easy read, given the language and phrasing. I thought it was very authentic making certain phrases and such that sounded just like an old Cuban trying to speak English. His comparisons of the great DiMaggio and his bone spurs I found particularly endearing for some reason. I loved how the boy took care of the old man and the illusions they allowed each other on how life was faring. To see such strength of character and spirit in the humble old man was the strongest aspect of the story in my opinion. It makes you look at those around and wonder what really goes on in their minds even though they may look to be the poorest and weakest of us all.