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Encyclopedia > The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
Original book cover
Author Ernest Hemingway
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Tragedy, Novella
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication date 1952
Media type Print (hardback and paperback)
Pages 118
ISBN ISBN 978-0-684-80122-3
Preceded by Across the River and Into the Trees
Followed by Islands in the Stream

The Old Man and the Sea is a novella (just over 100 pages in length) by Ernest Hemingway written in Cuba in 1951 and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.[1] It is noteworthy in twentieth century fiction, reaffirming Hemingway's worldwide literary prominence as well as being a significant factor in his selection for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.[2] This image is a book cover. ... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 — July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For other uses, see Tragedy (disambiguation). ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... Charles Scribners Sons is a publisher that was founded in 1846 at the Brick Church Chapel on New Yorks Park Row. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Across the River and Into the Trees is a novel by Ernest Hemingway. ... Islands in the Stream, published in 1970, was the first of Ernest Hemingways novels to be published posthumously. ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 — July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... See also: 1951 in literature, other events of 1952, 1953 in literature, list of years in literature. ... For other uses, see Fiction (disambiguation). ... A Long Island fisherman cleans his nets A fisherman is someone who gathers fish, shellfish, or other animals from a body of water. ... For other uses, see Marlin (disambiguation). ... For the album by Ocean Colour Scene, see North Atlantic Drift (album) The Gulf Stream is orange and yellow in this representation of water temperatures of the Atlantic. ... René-François-Armand Prudhomme (1839–1907), a French poet and essayist, was the first person to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901, in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart... See also: 1953 in literature, other events of 1954, 1955 in literature, list of years in literature. ...

Contents

Background and publication

Most biographers maintain that the years following Hemingway's publication of For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940 until 1952 were the bleakest in his literary career. The novel Across the River and Into the Trees (1950) was almost unanimously disparaged by critics as self-parody. Evidently his participation as an Allied correspondent in World War II did not yield fruits equivalent to those wrought of his experiences in World War I (A Farewell to Arms, 1929) or the Spanish Civil War (For Whom the Bell Tolls). For other uses, see For Whom the Bell Tolls (disambiguation). ... Across the River and Into the Trees is a novel by Ernest Hemingway. ... Self-parody is parody of oneself or ones own work. ... Look up ally in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A journalist is a person who practices journalism. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... For the Machine Head song, see A Farewell to Arms (song). ... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ... For other uses, see For Whom the Bell Tolls (disambiguation). ...


Hemingway had initially planned to use Santiago's story, which became The Old Man and the Sea, as part of a random intimacy between mother and son and also the fact of relationships that cover most of the book relate to the Bible, which he referred to as "The Sea Book." Some aspects of it did appear in the posthumously published Islands in the Stream. Positive feedback he received for On the Blue Water (Esquire, April 1936) led him to rewrite it as an independent work. The book is a novella because it has no chapters or parts and is slightly longer than a short story. He also referred to the Bible as the "Sea of Knowledge" and other such things. Islands in the Stream, published in 1970, was the first of Ernest Hemingways novels to be published posthumously. ... August 2005 issue of Esquire Esquire is a mens magazine by the Hearst Corporation. ...


The novel first appeared, in its 26,500-word entirety, as part of the September 1, 1952 edition of Life magazine. 5.3 million copies of that issue were sold within two days. The majority of concurrent criticism was positive, although some dissenting criticism has since emerged. The title was misprinted on the cover of an early edition as The Old Men and the Sea. is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1952 (MCMLII) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ...


Inspiration for character

Gregorio Fuentes is one possible model for Hemingway's eponymous "Old Man."
Gregorio Fuentes is one possible model for Hemingway's eponymous "Old Man."

While Hemingway was living in Cuba beginning in 1940 with his fifth wife Mary Gellhorn, one of his favorite pastimes was to sail and fish in his boat, named the Pilar. General biographical consensus holds that the model for Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea was, at least in part, the Cuban fisherman Gregorio Fuentes.[3] This work is copyrighted. ... This work is copyrighted. ... Gregorio Fuentes (July 11, 1897 - January 13, 2002) was a Cuban nautical captain. ... Gregorio Fuentes (July 11, 1897 - January 13, 2002) was a Cuban nautical captain. ...


Fuentes, also known as Goyo to his friends, was born in 1897 on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, migrated to Cuba when he was six years old and met Hemingway there in 1928. In the 1930s, Hemingway hired him to look after his boat. During Hemingway's Cuban years a strong friendship formed between Hemingway and Fuentes. For almost thirty years, Fuentes served as the captain of the Pilar; this included time during which Hemingway did not live in Cuba.[3] Lanzarote is also the title of a novella by Michel Houellebecq, translated into English by Frank Wynne. ... This article is about the islands in the Atlantic Ocean. ...


Fuentes at times would admit that the story was not exactly about him. He related that the true inspiration of the old man and the boy did exist but they never knew who they were. The story goes that in the late 1940s, upon return from an early morning fishing trip, Fuentes and Hemingway saw a small rowboat 10 miles out to sea. Hemingway asked Fuentes to approach the vessel to see if they needed help. Inside the boat was an old man and a boy. As the vessels closed in the old man began yelling at them with insults including telling them to go to hell, indicating that they had scared away the fish. According to Fuentes, he and Hemingway looked at each other in surprise. Just the same, Hemingway asked Fuentes to lower them some food and drinks while the old man and boy glared at them. Without another word exchanged, the two boats parted ways. According to Fuentes, Hemingway began immediately to write in his notebook and later asked him to find the old man. According to Fuentes, he never was able to find the fisherman that had made such an impression on Hemingway. Fuentes recounts that this was the real origin of the lore. A few years after The Old Man and the Sea was published, residents of Cojimar believed that the old fisherman that Fuentes and Hemingway ran into at sea was a humble local fisherman they called el viejo Miguel; some described his physical appearance as a wiry Spencer Tracy.


Fuentes, suffering from cancer, died in 2002; he was 104 years old. Prior to his death, he donated Hemingway's Pilar to the Cuban government.[3] Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...


Plot summary

The Old Man and the Sea recounts an epic battle between an old, experienced fisherman and a giant marlin said to be the largest catch of his life. It opens by explaining that the fisherman, who is named Santiago (but only directly referred to outside of dialogue as "the old man"), has gone 84 days without catching any fish at all. He is apparently so unlucky that his young apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with the old man and been ordered to fish with more successful fishermen. Still dedicated to the old man, however, the boy visits Santiago's shack each night, hauling back his fishing gear, feeding him, and discussing American baseball—most notably Santiago's idol, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago tells Manolin that on the next day, he will venture far out into the Gulf to fish, confident that his unlucky streak is near its end. This article is about fortune. ... If youre looking for the TV show, see The Apprentice. ... This article is about the sport. ... Joseph Paul DiMaggio, born Giuseppe Paolo DiMaggio, Jr. ...


Thus on the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sets out alone, taking his skiff far into the Gulf. He sets his lines and, by noon of the first day, a big fish that he is sure is a marlin takes his bait. Unable to pull in the great marlin, Santiago instead finds the fish pulling his skiff. Two days and two nights pass in this manner, during which the old man bears the tension of the line with his body. Though he is wounded by the struggle and in pain, Santiago expresses a compassionate appreciation for his adversary, often referring to him as a brother. The term skiff is applied to various river craft, but a skiff is typically a small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern. ... For other uses, see Marlin (disambiguation). ...


On the third day of the ordeal, the fish begins to circle the skiff, indicating his tiredness to the old man. Santiago, now completely worn out and almost in delirium, uses all the strength he has left in him to pull the fish onto its side and stab the marlin with a harpoon, thereby ending the long battle between the old man and the tenacious fish. For other uses, see Harpoon (disambiguation) harpoon gun redirects here. ...


Santiago straps the marlin to his skiff and heads home, thinking about the high price the fish will bring him at the market and how many people he will feed. However, the old man determines that because of the fish's great dignity, no one will be worthy of eating the marlin. Look up Market in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


While Santiago continues his journey back to the shore, sharks are attracted to the trail of blood left by the marlin in the water. The first, a great mako shark, Santiago kills with his harpoon, losing that weapon in the process. He makes a new harpoon by strapping his knife to the end of an oar to help ward off the next line of sharks; in total, five sharks are slain and many others are driven away. But by night, the sharks have devoured the marlin's entire carcass, leaving only its tail. The old man castigates himself for sacrificing the marlin. Finally reaching the shore before dawn on the next day, he struggles on the way to his shack, carrying the heavy mast on his shoulder. Once home, he slumps onto his bed and enters a very deep sleep. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Isurus oxyrinchus Rafinesque, 1810 The Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus), commonly called Mako Shark, is a large shark of the Lamnidae family with a full-grown size of 2. ... This article is about the tool. ... An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. ...


Ignorant of the old man's journey, a group of fishermen gathers the next day around the boat where the fish's skeleton is still attached. Tourists at the nearby café mistakenly take it for a shark. Manolin, worried during the old man's endeavor, cries upon finding him safe asleep. The boy brings him newspapers and coffee. When the old man wakes, they promise to fish together once again. Upon his return to sleep, Santiago dreams of lions on the African beach. A tourist boat travels the River Seine in Paris, France Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act. ... Cafe redirects here. ...


Symbolism of character

The Old Man and the Sea allows various interpretations. Hemingway emphasizes that

No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in. ... I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things.[4]

The style of the work, the simplicity and the concreteness of its descriptions, provides a rich opportunity for symbolic interpretations. Some insights follow.


Santiago represents Christ suffering. Hemingway compares him to Jesus Christ on several occasions. Santiago "...picked the mast up and put it on his shoulder and started up the road. He...[sat] down five times before he reached his shack" (121) much like Jesus did on the journey to his crucifixion, carrying the cross. Later Santiago sleeps "...face down ... with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up" (122), the position of Jesus on the cross. All throughout the book the old man wishes for salt, a staple seasoning in the human diet. He is a fisherman, similar to Christ's disciples. It is also quite ironic that he is longing for salt in the environment that abounds in besides open space, salty sea water. Quite like the predicament of man, he feels he is surrounded by "it" yet it is precisely "it" that he longs for. He wishes the dissolved salt (it) could crystallize and be intelligible to him.


The marlin represents what man is searching for whether it may be good or bad. Some men love their gods, but he hates the fish as men hate their gods. The fish was very beautiful and huge and Santiago felt a connection with it, he considered it his brother. Hemingway says that Santiago is not a religious man, but he seems to have some faith as shown by his offers to say his "Hail Marys" and praises if he catches the marlin.[5]


Literary significance and criticism

The Old Man and the Sea served to reinvigorate Hemingway's literary reputation and prompted a reexamination of his entire body of work. The novella was initially received with much popularity; it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. Its publisher, Scribner's, on an early dust jacket, called the novella a "new classic," and many critics favorably compared it with such works as William Faulkner's "The Bear" and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. Charles Scribners Sons is a publisher that was founded in 1846 at the Brick Church Chapel on New Yorks Park Row. ... William Cuthbert Faulkner (born William Falkner), (September 25, 1897–July 6, 1962) was an American author. ... Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. ... Moby-Dick book cover Moby-Dick - the official title of the first edition - is a novel by Herman Melville. ...


Following such acclaim, however, a school of critics emerged that interpreted the novella as a disappointing minor work. For example, critic Philip Young provided an admiring review in 1952, just following The Old Man and the Sea's publication, in which he stated that it was the book "in which Hemingway said the finest single thing he ever had to say as well as he could ever hope to say it." However, in 1966, Young claimed that the "failed novel" too often "went way out." These self-contradictory views show that critical reaction ranged from adoration of the book's mythical, pseudo-religious intonations to flippant dismissal as pure fakery. The latter is founded in the notion that Hemingway, once a devoted student of realism, failed in his depiction of Santiago as a supernatural, clairvoyant impossibility. Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 — July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... Religious is a term with both a technical definition and folk use. ... For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... Clairvoyance is defined as a form of radio waves). ...


Joseph Waldmeir's essay entitled "Confiteor Hominem: Ernest Hemingway's Religion of Man" is one of the most famed favorable critical readings of the novella—and one which has defined analytical considerations since. Perhaps the most memorable claim therein is Waldmeir's answer to the rhetorical question, For other uses, see Essay (disambiguation). ... A rhetorical question is a figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than to receive an answer. ...

Just what is the book's message?
The answer assumes a third level on which The Old Man and the Sea must be read—as a sort of allegorical commentary on all his previous work, by means of which it may be established that the religious overtones of The Old Man and the Sea are not peculiar to that book among Hemingway's works, and that Hemingway has finally taken the decisive step in elevating what might be called his philosophy of Manhood to the level of a religion.[6]
As of 2006, the current cover for the Charles Scribner's Sons edition of the novella
As of 2006, the current cover for the Charles Scribner's Sons edition of the novella

Waldmeir was one of the most prominent critics to wholly consider the function of the novella's Christian imagery, made most evident through Santiago's blatant reference to the crucifixion following his sighting of the sharks that reads: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1586x2408, 8073 KB)[edit] Summary 2003 Scribner cover of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1586x2408, 8073 KB)[edit] Summary 2003 Scribner cover of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA by Ernest Hemingway. ... Charles Scribners Sons is a publisher that was founded in 1846 at the Brick Church Chapel on New Yorks Park Row. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Crucifixion (disambiguation). ...

Ay, he said aloud. There is no translation for this word and perhaps it is just a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the wood.[1]

Waldmeir's analysis of this line, supplemented with other instances of similar symbolism, caused him to claim that The Old Man and the Sea was a seminal work in raising Hemingway's "philosophy of Manhood" to a religious level.[6] This hallmark criticism stands as one of the most durable, positive treatments of the novella. A pile of nails. ... Manhood is the period in a males life when he has left behind the innocence of childhood. ...


On the other hand, one of the most outspoken critics of The Old Man and the Sea is Robert P. Weeks. His 1962 piece "Fakery in The Old Man and the Sea" presents his claim that the novella is a weak and unexpected divergence from the typical, realistic Hemingway (referring to the rest of Hemingway's body of work as "earlier glories").[7] In juxtaposing this novella against Hemingway's previous works, Weeks explains that

The difference, however, in the effectiveness with which Hemingway employs this characteristic device in his best work and in The Old Man and the Sea is illuminating. The work of fiction in which Hemingway devoted the most attention to natural objects, The Old Man and the Sea, is pieced out with an extraordinary quantity of fakery, extraordinary because one would expect to find no inexactness, no romanticizing of natural objects in a writer who loathed W.H. Hudson, could not read Thoreau, deplored Melville's rhetoric in Moby Dick, and who was himself criticized by other writers, notably Faulkner, for his devotion to the facts and his unwillingness to "invent." [7]

William Henry Hudson (August 4, 1841 - August 18, 1922) was an Argentinan-British author, naturalist and ornithologist. ... Thoreau redirects here. ...

Awards and nominations

The Old Man and the Sea led to numerous accolades for Hemingway, including the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He also earned the Award of Merit Medal for the Novel from the American Academy of Letters that same year. Most prestigiously, the Nobel Prize in Literature came in 1954, "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style."[2] The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1948 for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. ... For other uses, see Novel (disambiguation). ... René-François-Armand Prudhomme (1839–1907), a French poet and essayist, was the first person to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901, in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart...


Pop culture references

The Old Man and the Sea was referenced in an episode of South Park named "D-Yikes!", where a pissed-off Mr. Garrison assigns his class a homework assignment of reading the book and writing an essay about it over a weekend. The boys then pay a group of Mexicans to do it for them. This article is about the TV series. ... D-Yikes! is episode 1106 (#159) of Comedy Centrals animated comedy series South Park. ...


It was also featured in the episode of Arrested Development where Maeby tries to adapt it into a feature film. Due to being skewed for younger audiences, the film is changed to "The Young Man and The Beach" starring Jude Law. Arrested Development is a character-driven Emmy Award-winning American comedy television series that ran from November 2, 2003 to February 10, 2006, about a formerly wealthy and habitually dysfunctional family. ...


The character Peter Griffin appears reading this book in an episode of Family Guy named "The Thin White Line". Peter Löwenbräu Griffin is the protagonist in the American animated television series Family Guy. ... Family Guy is an Emmy Award-winning American animated television series about a dysfunctional family in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island. ... The Thin White Line is part one of the two-part season premiere of the third season of Family Guy (part two being Brian Does Hollywood. It guest-stars Leif Garrett as himself, June Foray as Rocket J. Squirrel, and Haley Joel Osment as the kid in the bathroom. ...


Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Hemingway, Ernest (0000). The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.  hardcover: ISBN 0-684-83049-3, paperback: ISBN 0-684-80122-1
  2. ^ a b The Nobel Prize in Literature 1954. The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved on January 31, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c "Hemingway's 'Old Man' dies in Cuba", BBC News, January 14, 2002. 
  4. ^ "An American Storyteller", Time, July 7, 1999
  5. ^ the "hail marys" are in the nature of trade off or concession, and do not in my view reflect an act of faith
  6. ^ a b *Joseph Waldmeir (1957). "Confiteor Hominem: Ernest Hemingway's Religion of Man". Papers of the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters XLII: 349–356. 
  7. ^ a b Robert P. Weeks (1962). "Fakery in The Old Man and the Sea". College English XXIV: 188–192. 

is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ...

Further reading

  • Young, Philip (1952). Ernest Hemingway. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. ISBN 0-8166-0191-7. 
  • Jobes, Katharine T., ed (1968). Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Old Man and the Sea. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-633917-4. 
  • Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure: Cuba. PBS. Retrieved on January 21, 2006.
  • Ivan Kashkin (1959). Commentary (in Ernest Hemingway - Selected works in two volumes). Moscow: State publisher for literature. 

is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Awards
Preceded by
The Caine Mutiny
by Herman Wouk
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
1953
Succeeded by
no award given (1954)
A Fable (1955)
by William Faulkner

  Results from FactBites:
 
SparkNotes: The Old Man and the Sea: Plot Overview (774 words)
The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life.
He helps the old man tote his gear to his ramshackle hut, secures food for him, and discusses the latest developments in American baseball, especially the trials of the old man’s hero, Joe DiMaggio.
Although wounded and weary, the old man feels a deep empathy and admiration for the marlin, his brother in suffering, strength, and resolve.
Old Man and The Sea (1210 words)
In the novel The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway uses the literary device of metaphors.
The old man knew he was going far out...1(page 22) Hemingway feels that in life there are people who participate in life and people who observe life as it passes just like on the ocean where there are boats that do not test their boundaries.
The old man is testing his limits, he is challenging the ocean, and rowing where he wants to go, not where the ocean wants to take him.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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