the old man and the sea by e hemingway

There has got to be an irreparable hole in the sky… it just won’t stop raining in this town!  I love the rain because I love how gloomy and cozy it gets: snuggled up in comfy PJs under a soft blanket with the AC blasting and a good book to carry me on right through the thunderstorm and lightening is just a-perfecto.  But a streak of nonstop everyday all day (not to mention extremely heavy) rain is so exhausting! I don’t exactly know why but something about the weather immediately led me to revisit Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.  This is one of the few books that can make my heart skip a beat and hypnotize my conscience to become a part in the book.

The protagonist is an old fisherman who has gone 80 plus days without catching a single fish.  Although his profession has been seasoned with years of successful catches, his unlucky streak has the town labeled him as a failure.  To deter this unlucky phase, he sets sail into the vigorous sea with the stormy confidence to bring back a prized possession.  His persistent battle to survive the volatile waves and weather from inside a small little boat makes his character that much more fragile and sympathetic.  Sort of like an unsung hero.  After what seems like eternity, the old man finally catches a giant marlin.  Its massive size and weight makes it tough for him to return to the shore but his achievement leaves him lighthearted and happy.  Or so it seems.  It’s not until he has to battle with the sharks from devouring the marlin that he begins to fall apart physically and mentally.

There are probably a handful of interpretations of this epic journey, and I think it’s a brilliant and sentimental metaphor of life.  It can take forever to overcome all kinds of obstacles to get something you want but despite the hardships what you finally get can crumble down in just an instant.  The metaphor so thoughtfully panned out through the old man always overwhelms me with emotions.  The Old Man and the Sea is such a literary classic and a must read… Even if some may claim the plot drags on.  Without the unexpected losses and pain, whatever good comes in the end will not hold the same kind of valuable sentiments.  Sigh. What a great book. Happy reading!

dee’s rec: 5/5