Have you ever felt like the world was out to get you? Like no matter what you did, circumstance bit you with a vengeance that almost seemed unmerited? Ernest Hemingway in ,”The Old Man and the Sea” perfectly depicts this struggle of “luck” or “chance.” The book follows the story of a young boy, a legendary fish and Santiago, an old fisherman who has all but failed in his trade as of late. It is a gripping story of the destiny that man feels within himself (even if evidence has evaded him), of the resolve with which one chases that destiny, and of the hardship that often takes place.
Santiago has been chasing a fish of epic stature for a long time, always knowing what kind of caliber he seeks. But day after day, and even month after month he catches nothing. Until one day, he gets a bite that draws the very blood from his veins.
Hemingway brilliantly depicts the struggle of man that applies to many situations which we face. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and was deemed a legendary short story author due to this book. It is a very short story and very easy to read, don’t miss out on the wealth it will contribute to your life!
Oracle Insider Rating: 7/10
Although I am not normally drawn to short stories, this one captured me. I read it in one sitting.
Who should read it: If you often speak of things that happened to you or things you wish were different, you will treasure what this books brings to your perspective. It really has been a gem to me.
Who should hold off: No one. It is too short to not take the hour or two it takes to read it. My favorite Hemingway novel so far.
“Why did they make birds so delicate and fine as those sea swallows when the ocean can be so cruel? She is kind and beautiful. But she can be so cruel and it comes so suddenly and such birds that fly, dipping and hunting, with their small voices are made too delicately for the sea. He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her.”
What a beautiful description of the way the old man sees the sea.
“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”
Always find the positive, even when there seems to be none of the sort.
“‘But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’”
I’ve not known of a better story of resolve than this one. Oh what amazing lessons can Earnest teach us through this.
“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
The age old story that luck = opportunity + preparedness
“Most people were heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after it has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.”
“I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution.”
It is not about what strengths or talents you bring to the table, it is about your resolve. It is about knowing the heart that beats in your chest, and knowing it will beat well beyond the normal human. “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep standing.” -Rocky Balboa
“It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin he thought.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea