The Old Man and the Sea. By Ernest Hemingway raudone.info To Charlie Shribner. And. To Max Perkins. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in . Ernest Hemingway ” The Old Man and the Sea The Old Man and the Sea By Ernest Hemingway To Charlie Shribner And To Max. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its 9 The Old Man and the Sea reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks.
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A reading of The Old Man and the Sea (The Old Man) offers the reader a predominant experience of Santa rasa (a relish of quietism). Here. Hemingway tells the. The old fisherman Santiago has caught nothing for eighty-four days. Then things The Old Man and the Sea. Cover Image PDF (tablet), raudone.info He gave a wonderful collection of literature to the world but his magnum opus, The Old Man and the Sea, won him the stature most befitted to him. The Old Man .
One of the fishermen measures it to be 18 feet 5. Pedrico is given the head of the fish, and the other fishermen tell Manolin to tell the old man how sorry they are. The boy, worried about the old man, cries upon finding him safe asleep and at his injured hands. Manolin 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 his youth—of lions on an African beach. Background and publication[ edit ] 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. Ernest Hemingway in  Written in , and published in , The Old Man and the Sea is Hemingway's final full-length work published during his lifetime.
The book, dedicated to " Charlie Scribner " and to Hemingway's literary editor " Max Perkins ",   was featured in Life magazine on September 1, , and five million copies of the magazine were sold in two days. The novel 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 novel a "new classic", and many critics favorably compared it with such works as William Faulkner 's short story The Bear and Herman Melville 's novel Moby-Dick. Ernest Hemingway and Henry "Mike" Strater with the remaining lbs of an estimated lb marlin that was half-eaten by sharks before it could be landed in the Bahamas in See Pilar for details of this episode.
Gregorio Fuentes , who many critics believe was an inspiration for Santiago, was a blue-eyed man born on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. After going to sea at age ten on ships that called in African ports, he migrated permanently to Cuba when he was After 82 years in Cuba, Fuentes attempted to reclaim his Spanish citizenship in Relationships in 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. Perhaps the most memorable claim is Waldmeir's answer to the question—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.
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. His piece "Fakery in The Old Man and the Sea" presents his argument that the novel is a weak and unexpected divergence from the typical, realistic Hemingway referring to the rest of Hemingway's body of work as "earlier glories".
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.
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. The Swedish medal was stolen in , but was returned later upon the threat of Raul Castro , brother of Fidel Castro. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast.
The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat. The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its 9 The Old Man and the Sea reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.
But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert. Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.
Stay with them! I am a boy and I must obey him. Others, of the older fishermen, looked at him and were sad. But they did not show it and they spoke politely about the current and the depths they had drifted their lines at and the steady good weather and of what they had seen.
The successful fishermen of that day were already in and had butchered their marlin out and car- ried them laid full length across two planks, with two men staggering at the end of each plank, to the fish house where they waited for the ice truck to carry them to the market in Havana. Those who had caught sharks had taken them to the shark factory on the other side of the cove where they were hoisted on a block and tackle, their livers removed, their fins cut off and their hides skinned out and their flesh cut into strips for salting.
When the wind was in the east a smell came across the harbour from the shark factory; but today there 1 1 The Old Man and the Sea was only the faint edge of the odour because the wind had backed into the north and then dropped oft' and it was pleasant and sunny on the Terrace. He was holding his glass and thinking of many years ago. Go and play baseball. I can still row and Ro- gelio will throw the net.
If I cannot fish with you, I would like to serve in some way. Can you rem-ember? I can remember you throwing me into the bow where the wet coiled lines were and feeling the whole boat shiver and the noise of you clubbing him like chopping a tree down and the sweet blood smell all over me.
I know where I can get four baits too. I put them in salt in the box. His hope and his confidence had never gone.
But now they were freshen- ing as when the breeze rises. He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he 3 The Old Man and the Sea knew he had attained it and he knew it was not dis- graceful and it carried no loss of true pride. I want to be out before it is light. That is what kills the eyes.
And there are many tricks. The old man carried the mast on his shoulder and the boy car- ried the wooden box; with the coiled, hard-braided brown lines, the gaff and the harpoon with its shaft.
The box with the baits was under the stem of the skiff along with the club that was used to subdue the big fish when they were brought alongside.
No one would steal from the old man but it was better to take the sail and the heavy lines home as the dew was bad for them and, though he was quite sure no local people would steal from him, the old man thought that a gaff and a harpoon were needless temptations to leave in a boat.
The old man leaned the mast with its wrapped sail against the wall and the boy put the box and the other gear beside it. The mast was nearly as long as the one room of the shack. The shack was made of the tough budshields of the royal palm which are called guano and in it there was a bed, a table, one chair, and a place on the dirt floor to cook with charcoal.
On the brown walls of the flattened, overlapping leaves of the sturdy fibered 15 The Old Man and the Sea guano there was a picture in color of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and another of the Virgin of Cobre. These were relics of his wife. Once there had been a tinted photograph of his wife on the wall but he had talcen it down because it made him too lonely to see it and it was on the shelf in the corner under his clean shirt. Do you want some? I will eat at home. Do you want me to make the fire? I will make it later on.
Or I may eat the rice cold. But they went through this fiction every day. There was no pot of yellow rice and fish and the boy knew this too. Will you sit in the sun in the doorway? But the old man brought it out from under the bed. When I come back you can tell me about the baseball. Think of the great DiMaggio. Tomorrow is the eighty-fifth day.
Do you think you can find an eighty-five? Who can we borrow that from? I can always borrow two dollars and a half. But I try not to borrow. First you borrow. Then you beg.
When the hoy came back the old man was asleep in the chair and the sun was down. They were strange shoulders, still powerful although very old, and the neck was still strong too and the creases did not show so much when the old man was asleep and his head fallen forward.
His shirt had been patched so many times that it was like the sail and the patches were faded to many different shades by the sun. The newspaper lay across his knees and the weight of his arm held it there in the evening breeze.
He was barefooted. The boy left him there and when he came back the old man was still asleep. The old man opened his eyes and for a moment he was coming back from a long way away. Then he smiled. Then he started to fold the blanket. The two sets of knives and forks and spoons were in his pocket with a paper nap- kin wrapped around each set.
The owner. He is very thoughtful for us. But this is in bottles, Hatuey beer, and I take back the bottles. The village water supply was two streets down the road. I must have water here for him, the boy thought, and soap and a good towel.
Why am I so thoughtless? I must get him another shirt and a jacket for the winter and some sort of shoes and another blanket. The great DiMaggio is him- self again.
But he makes the difFerence. In the other league, between Brooklyn and Philadelphia I must take Brooklyn. But then I think of Dick Sisler and those great drives in the old park.
He hits the long- est ball I have ever seen.
I wanted to take him fishing but I was too timid to ask him. Then I asked you to ask him and you were too timid.
It was a great mistake. He might have gone with us. Then we would have that for all of our lives. Maybe he was as poor as we are and would understand. You told me. But he was rough and harsh-spoken and difficult when he was drinking.
His mind was on horses as well as baseball. I know others better. But there is only you. You make me happy. I hope no fish will come along so great that he will prove us wrong. I will take the things back to the Terrace.
I will wake you in the morning. Is it to have one longer day? It is as though I were inferior. They had eaten with no light on the table and the old man took off his trousers and went to bed in the dark. He rolled his trousers up to make a pillow, putting the newspaper inside them.
He rolled himself in the blanket and slept on the other old newspapers that covered the springs of the bed. He was asleep in a short time and he dreamed of Africa when he was a boy and the long golden beaches and the white beaches, so white they hurt your eyes, and the high capes and the great brown mountains. He lived along that coast now every night and in his dreams he heard the surf roar and saw the native boats 24 The Old Man and the Sea come riding through it.
He smelled the tar and oakum of the deck as he slept and he smelled the smell of Africa that the land breeze brought at morning. Usually when he smelled the land breeze he woke up and dressed to go and wake the boy. But tonight the smell of the land breeze came very early and he knew it was too early in his dream and went on dreaming to see the white peaks of the Islands rising from the sea and then he dreamed of the different harbours and roadsteads of the Canary Islands.
He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife.
He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy. He never dreamed about the boy. He simply woke, looked out the open door at the moon and unrolled his trousers and put them on. He urinated outside the shack and then went up the road to wake the boy.
He was shivering with the morning cold. But he knew he would shiver himself warm and that soon he would be rowing. The door of the house where the boy lived was un- locked and he opened it and walked in quietly with his 25 The Old Man and the Sea bare feet. The boy was asleep on a cot in the first room and the old man could see him clearly with the light that came in from the dying moon.
He took hold of one foot gently and held it until the boy woke and turned' and looked at him. The old man nodded and the boy took his trousers from the chair by the bed and, sitting on the bed, pulled them on. The old man went out the door and the boy came after him. He 26 The Old Man and the Sea was waking up now although it was still hard for him to leave his sleep. He brings our gear himself.
He never wants anyone to carry any- thing. Have another coffee. We have credit here. The old man drank his coffee slowly.
It was all he would have all day and he knew that he should take it. For a long time now eating had bored him and he never carried a lunch. He had a bottle of water in the bow of the skiff and that was all he needed for the day. He fitted the rope lashings of the oars onto the thole pins and, leaning forward against the thrust of the blades in the water, he began to row out of the harbour in the dark.
There were other boats from the other beaches going out to sea and the old man heard the dip and push of their oars even though he could not see them now the moon was below the hills. Sometimes someone would speak in a boat. But most of the boats were silent except for the dip of the oars. They spread apart after they were out of the mouth of the harbour and each one headed for the part of the ocean where he hoped to find fish.
The old man knew he was going far out and he left the smell of the land behind and rowed out into the clean early morning smell of the ocean. He saw the phosphorescence of the Gulf weed in the water as he rowed over the part of the ocean that the fishermen called the great well be- cause there was a sudden deep of seven hundred fath- oms where all sorts of fish congregated because of the swirl the current made against the steep walls of the floor of the ocean.
Here there were concentrations of shrimp and bait fish and sometimes schools of squid in 28 The Old Man and the Sea the deepest holes and these rose close to the surface at night where all the wandering fish fed on them. In the dark the old man could feel the morning com- ing and as he rowed he heard the trembling sound as flying fish left the water and the hissing that their stiff set wings made as they soared away in the darkness.
He was very fond of flying fish as they were his princi- pal friends on the ocean. He was sorry for the birds, especially the small delicate dark terns that were al- ways flying and looking and almost never finding, and he thought, the birds have a harder life than we do except for the robber birds and the heavy strong ones. Why did they make birds so delicate and fine as those sea swallows when the ocean can be so cruel? She is kind and very beautiful. But she can be so cruel and it comes so suddenly and such birds that fly, dipping and hunting, with their small sad voices are made too del- icately for the sea.
He always thought of the sea as la mar which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought 29 The Old Man and the Sea when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as el mar which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy.
But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as some- thing that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought. He was rowing steadily and it was no effort for him since he kept well within his speed and the surface of the ocean was flat except for the occasional swirls of the current.
He was letting the current do a third of the w'ork and as it started to be light he saw he was already further out than he had hoped to be at this hour. I worked the deep wells for a week and did nothing, he thought. Today work out where the schools of bonito and albacore are and maybe there will be a big one with them.
Before it was really light he had his baits out and was drifting with the current. One bait was down forty fathoms. The second was at seventy-five and the third and fourth were dowm in the blue water at one 30 The Old Man and the Sea hundred and one hundred and twenty-five fathoms. Each bait hung head down with the shank of the hook inside the bait fish, tied and sewed solid and all the projecting part of the hook, the curve and the point, was covered with fresh sardines.
Each sardine was hooked through both eyes so that they made a half-gar- land on the projecting steel. There was no part of the hook that a great fish could feel which was not sweet smelling and good tasting. The boy had given him two fresh small tunas, or albacores, which hung on the two deepest lines like plummets and, on the others, he had a big blue runner and a yellow jack that had been used before; but they were in good condition still and had the excellent sar- dines to give them scent and attractiveness.
Each line, as thick around as a big pencil, was looped onto a green-sapped stick so that any pull or touch on the bait would make the stick dip and each line had two forty- fathom coils which could be made fast to the other spare coils so that, if it were necessary, a fish could take out over three hundred fathoms of line. Now the man watched the dip of the three sticks over the side of the skiff and rowed gently to keep the 3 The Old Man and the Sea lines straight up and down and at their proper depths.
It was quite light and any moment now the sun would rise. The sun rose thinly from the sea and the old man could see the other boats, low on the water and well in toward the shore, spread out across the current.
Then the sun was brighter and the glare came on the water and then, as it rose clear, the flat sea sent it back at his eyes so that it hurt sharply and he rowed without look- ing into it. He looked down into the water and watched the lines that went straight down into the dark of the water.
He kept them straighter than any- one did, so that at each level in the darkness of the stream there would be a bait waiting exactly where he wished it to he for any fish that swam there. Others let them drift with the current and sometimes they were at sixty fathoms when the fishermen thought they were at a hundred.
But, he thought, I keep them with precision. Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. 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 sun was two hours higher now and it did not The Old Man and the Sea hurt his eyes so much to look into the east. There were only three boats in sight now and they showed very low and far inshore. All my life the early sun has hurt my eyes, he thought. Yet they are still good. In the evening I can look straight into it without getting the blackness. It has more force in the evening too. But in the morning it is painful.
Just then he saw a man-of-war bird with his long black wings circling in the sky ahead of him. He made a quick drop, slanting down on his back-swept wings, and then circled again.
He did not hurry and he kept his lines straight up and down. But he crowded the current a little so that he was still hshing correctly though faster than he would have fished if he was not trying to use the bird.
The bird went higher in the air and circled again, his wings motionless. Then he dove suddenly and the old man saw flying fish spurt out of the water and sail desperately over the surface. It had a wire leader and a medium- sized hook and he baited it with one of the sardines. He let it go over the side and then made it fast to a ring bolt in the stern. Then he baited another line and left it coiled in the shade of the bow. He went back to rowing and to watching the long-winged black bird who was working, now, low over the water.
As he watched the bird dipped again slanting his wings for the dive and then swinging them wildly and ineffectually as he followed the flying fish. The old man could see the slight bulge in the water that the big dolphin raised as they followed the escaping fish.
The dolphin were cutting through the water below the flight of the fish and would be in the water, driving at speed, when the fish dropped. It is a big school of dol- phin, he thought. They are widespread and the flying fish have little chance.
The bird has no chance. The flying fish are too big for him and they go too fast. He watched the flying fish burst out again and again and the ineffectual movements of the bird. That school has gotten away from me, he thought.
They are mov- ing out too fast and too far. But perhaps I will pick up 34 The Old Man and the Sea a stray and perhaps my big fish is around them. My big fish must be somewhere.
The clouds over the land now rose like mountains and the coast was only a long green line with the gray blue hills behind it.
The water was a dark blue now, so dark that it was almost purple. As he looked down into it he saw the red sifting of the plankton in the dark water and the strange light the sun made now. He watched his lines to see them go straight down out of sight into the water and he was happy to see so much plankton because it meant fish. The strange light the sun made in the water, now that the sun was higher, meant good weather and so did the shape of the clouds over the land. But the bird was almost out of sight now and nothing showed on the surface of the water but some patches of yellow, sun-bleached Sargasso weed and the purple, formalized, iridescent, gelatinous blad- der of a Portuguese man-of-war floating close beside the boat.
It turned on its side and then righted itself. It floated cheerfully as a bubble with ifs long deadly pur- ple filaments trailing a yard behind it in the water. They were immune to its poison.
But men were not and when some of the filaments would catch on a line and rest there slimy and purple while the old man was working a fish, he would have welts and sores on his arms and hands of the sort that poison ivy or poison oak can give.
But these poisonings from the agua mala came quickly and struck like a whip- lash. The iridescent bubbles were beautiful. But they were the falsest thing in the sea and the old man loved to see the big sea turtles eating them.
The turtles saw them, approached them from the front, then shut their eyes so they were completely carapaced and ate them filaments and all. The old man loved to see the turtles eat them and he loved to walk on them on the beach after a storm and hear them pop when he stepped on them with the horny soles of his feet.
He had no mysticism about turtles although he had gone in turtle boats for many years. He was sorry for them all, even the great trunk backs that were as long as the skiff and weighed a ton. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too and my feet and hands are like theirs.
He ate the white eggs to give himself strength. He ate them all through May to be strong in September and October for the truly big fish. He also drank a cup of shark liver oil each day from the big drum in the shack where many of the fisher- men kept their gear. It was there for all fishermen who wanted it. Most fishermen hated the taste. But it was no worse than getting up at the hours that they rose and it was very good against all colds and grippes and it was good for the eyes.
Now the old man looked up and saw that the bird was circling again. No flying fish broke the surface and there was no scattering of bait 37 The Old Man and the Sea fish. But as the old man watched, a small tuna rose in the air, turned and dropped head first into the water.
The tuna shone silver in the sun and after he had dropped back into the water another and another rose and they were jumping in all directions, churning the water and leaping in long jumps after the bait. They were circling it and driving it. The shivering increased as he pulled in and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the boat.
He lay in the stern in the sun, compact and bullet shaped, his big, unintelligent eyes staring as he thumped his life out against the planking of the boat with the quick shivering strokes of his neat, fast-moving 38 The Old Man and the Sea tail.
The old man hit him on the head for kindness and kicked him, his body still shuddering, under the shade of the stern. He had sung when he was by himself in the old days and he had sung at night sometimes when he was alone steering on his watch in the smacks or in the turtle boats.
He had prob- ably started to talk aloud, when alone, when the boy had left. But he did not remember. When he and the boy fished together they usually spoke only when it was necessary.
They talked at night or when they were storm-bound by bad weather. It was considered a virtue not to talk unnecessarily at sea and the old man had always considered it so and respected it. But now he said his thoughts aloud many times since there was no one that they could annoy. And the rich have radios to talk to them in their boats and to bring them the base- ball. Now is the time to think of only one thing.
That which I was born for. There might be a big one around that school, he thought. I picked up only a straggler from the albacore that were feeding. But they are work- ing far out and fast. Everything that shows on the sur- face today travels very fast and to the north-east. Can that be the time of day? He could not see the green of the shore now but only the tops of the blue hills that showed white as though they were snow-capped and the clouds that looked Jike high snow mountains above them.
The sea was very dark and the light made prisms in the water. The myriad flecks of the plankton were annulled now by the high sun and it was only the great deep prisms in the blue water that the old man saw now with his lines going straight down into the water that was a mile deep.
The tuna, the fishermen called all the fish of that species tuna and only distinguished among them by their proper names when they came to sell them or to trade them for baits, were down again. The sun was 40 The Old Man and the Sea hot now and the old man felt it on the back of his neck and felt the sweat trickle down his back as he rowed. I could just drift, he thought, and sleep and put a bight of line around my toe to wake me.
But today is eighty-five days and I should fish the day well. Just then, watching his lines, he saw one of the pro- jecting green sticks dip sharply. He reached out for the line and held it softly between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. He felt no strain nor weight and he held the line lightly. Then it came again. This time it was a tentative pull, not solid nor heavy, and he knew ex- actly what it was. Now he could let it run through his fingers without the fish feeling any tension.
This far out, he must be huge in this month, he thought. Eat them, fish. Eat them.
The Old Man and the Sea
Please eat them. Make another turn in the dark and come back and eat them. Then there was noth- ing. Just smell them. Eat them good now and then there is the tuna. Hard and cold and lovely. Then came the same delicate pulling touch again. He was gone and the old man felt nothing. Maybe he has been hooked before and he remembers something of 42 The Old Man and the Sea Then he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy.
He did not say that because he knew that if you said a good thing it might not happen. He knew what a huge fish this was and he thought of him moving away in the darkness with the tuna held crosswise in his mouth. At that moment he felt him stop moving but the weight was still there.
Then the weight increased and he gave more line. He tightened the pressure of his thumb and finger for a moment and the weight in- creased and was going straight down. Now he was ready. He had three forty-fathom coils of line in reserve now, as well as the coil he was using.
Come up easy and let me put the harpoon into you. All right. Are you ready? Have you been long enough at table? Nothing happened.
The fish just moved away slowly and the old man could not raise him an inch. His line was strong and made for heavy fish and he held it against his back until it was so taut that beads of water were jumping from it. Then it began to make a slow hissing sound in the water and he still held it, bracing 44 The Old Man and the Sea himself against the thwart and leaning back against the pull. The boat began to move slowly off toward the north-west. The other baits were still in the water but there was nothing to be done.
I could make the line fast. But then he could break it. I must hold him all I can and give him line when he must have it. There are plenty of things I can do. He held the line against his back and watched its slant in the water and the skiff moving steadily to the north-west. This will kill him, the old man thought. But four hours later the fish was still swim- ming steadily out to sea, towing the skiff, and the old man was still braced solidly with the line across his back.
He was thirsty too and he got down on his knees and, being careful not to jerk on the line, moved as far into the bow as he could get and reached the water bottle with one hand. He opened it and drank a little. Then he rested against the bow. He rested sitting on the un-stepped mast and sail and tried not to think but only to endure.
Then he looked behind him and saw that no land was visible. That makes no difference, he thought. I can always come in on the glow from Havana.
There are two more hours before the sun sets and maybe he will come up before that. If he does not do that maybe he will come up with the sunrise.
I have no cramps and I feel strong. It is he that has the hook in his mouth. But what a fish to pull like that. He must have his mouth shut tight on the wire. I wish I could see him. I wish I could see him only once to know what I have against me. The fish never changed his course nor his direction 46 The Old Man and the Sea all that night as far as the man could tell from watch- ing the stars.
During the day he had taken the sack that covered the bait box and spread it in the sun to dry. After the sun went down he tied it around his neck so that it hung down over his back and he cau- tiously worked it down under the line that was across his shoulders now. The sack cushioned the line and he had found a way of leaning forward against the bow so that he was almost comfortable. The position actually was only somewhat less intolerable; but he thought of it as almost comfortable.
I can do nothing with him and he can do nothing with me, he thought. Not as long as he keeps this up. Once he stood up and urinat ed over the side of the skiff and looked at the stars and checked his course. The line showed like a phosphorescgnt streak in the water straight out from his shoulders.
They were mov- ing more slowly now and the glow of Havana was not so strong, so that he knew the current must be carrying them to the eastward. If I lose the glare of Havana we must be going more to the eastward, he thought.
Hemingway, Ernest - The Old Man and the Sea
I wonder how the baseball came out in the grand leagues today, he thought. It would be wonder- ful to do this with a radio.
Then he thought, think of it always. Think of what you are doing. You must do nothing stupid. To help me and to see this. But it is unavoidably I must remember to eat the tuna before he spoils in order to keep strong. Remember, no matter how little you want to, that you must eat him in the morning. Remember, he said to himself. During the night two porpoises came around the boat and he could hear them rolling and blowing. He could tell the difference between the blowing noise the male made and the sighing blow of the female.
They are our brothers like the flying fish. He is wonderful and strange and who knows how old he is, he thought. Never have I had such a strong fish nor one who acted so strangely. Perhaps he is too wise to jump. He could ruin me by jumping or 48 The Old Man and the Sea by a wild rush. But perhaps he has been hooked many times before and he knows that this is how he should make his fight. He cannot know that it is only one man against him, nor that it is an old man.
But what a great fish he is and what will he bring in the market if the flesh is good. He took the bait like a male and he pulls like a male and his fight has no panic in it. I wonder if he has any plans or if he is just as desperate as I am? He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface.
He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, 49 The Old Man and the Sea the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing.
He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed. That was the saddest thing I ever saw with them, the old man thought. When once, through my treachery , it had been nec- essary to him to make a choice, the old man thought. My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people. Beyond all people in the world.
Now we are joined to- gether and have been since noon. And no one to help either one of us. Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought.
But that was the thing that I was born for. I must surely remember to eat the tuna after it gets light. He heard the stick break and the line begin to rush out over the gunwale of the skiff.
In the darkness he loosened his sheath knife and taking all the strain of the fish on his left shoulder he leaned back and cut the line against the wood of the gunwale.
Then he cut the other line closest to him and in the dark made the loose ends of the reserve coils fast. He worked skillfully with the one hand and put his foot on the coils to hold them as he drew his knots tight. Now he had six reserve coils of line. There were two from each bait he had severed and the two from the bait the fish had taken and they were all con- nected. After it is light, he thought, I will work back to the forty-fathom bait and cut it away too and link up the reserve coils.
I will have lost two hundred fathoms of good Catalan carde l and the hooks and leaders. That can be replaced. But who replaces this fish if I hook some fish and it cuts him off? It could have been a marlin or a broadbill or a shark. I never felt him.
I had to get rid of him too fast. You have only yourself and you had better work back to the last line now, in the dark or not in the dark, and cut it away and hook up the two reserve coils. So he did it. It was difficult in the dark and once the fish made a surge that pulled him down on his face and made a cut below his eye. The blood ran down his cheek a little way. But it coagulated and dried before it reached his chin and he worked his way back to the bow and rested against the wood.
He adjusted the sack and carefully worked the line so that it came across a new part of his shoulders and, holding it anchored with his shoulders, he carefully felt the pull of the fish and then felt with his hand the progress of the skiff through the water.
I wonder what he made that lurch for, he thought. The wire must have slipped on the great hill of his back. Certainly his back cannot feel as badly as mine does.
But he cannot pull this skiff forever, no matter how great he is. Now everything is cleared away that might make trouble and I have a big reserve of line; all that a man can ask.
It was cold now in the time before daylight and he pushed against the wood to be warm. I can do it as long as he can, he thought.
And in the first light the line extended out and down into the water. I wish he would turn with the current. That would show that he was tiring. When the sun had risen further the old man real- ized that the fish was not tiring. There was only one favorable sign.
The slant of the line showed he was swimming at a lesser depth. That did not necessarily mean that he would jump.
But he might. I must not jerk it ever, he thought. Each jerk widens the cut the hook makes and then when he does jump he might throw it. Anyway I feel better with the sun and for once I do not have to look into it.
There was yellow weed on the line but the old man knew that only made an added drag and he was pleased. It was the yellow Gulf weed that had made so much phosphorescence in the night. But I will kill you dead before this day ends. A small bird came toward the skiff from the north. He was a warbler and Hying very low over the water.
The old man could see that he was very tired. The bird made the stern of the boat and rested there. Then he fiew around the old man's head and rested on the line where he was more comfortable. He was too tired even to examine the line and he teetered on it as his delicate feet gripped it fast. What are birds coming to?
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But he said nothing of this to the bird who could not understand him anyway and who would learn about the hawks soon enough.
But I am with a friend. The bird had flown up when the line jerked and the old man had not even seen him go. He felt the line 55 The Old Man and the Sea carefully with his right hand and noticed his hand was bleeding.
But when he was touching the breaking point he held steady and settled back against the strain of the line.
The bird was gone. You did not stay long, the man thought. But it is rougher where you are going until you make the shore. How did I let the fish cut me with that one quick pull he made? I must be getting very stupid. Or perhaps I was looking at the small bird and thinking of him. Now I will pay attention to my work and then I must eat the so that I will not have a failure of strength. The old man would have liked to keep his hand in the salt water longer but he was afraid of another sud- den lurch by the fish and he stood up and braced him- self and held his hand up against the sun.
It was only a line burn that had cut his flesh. But it was in the work- ing part of his hand. He knew he would need his hands before this was over and he did not like to be cut before it started. I can reach him with the gaff and eat him here in comfort. Holding the line with his left shoul- der again, and bracing on his left hand and arm, he took the tuna off the gaff hook and put the gaff back in place, fie put one knee on the fish and cut strips of dark red meat longitudinally from the back of the head to the tail.
They were wedge-shaped strips and he cut 57 The Old Man and the Sea them from next to the baek bone down to the edge of the belly. When he had cut six strips he spread them out on the wood of the bow, wiped his knife on his trousers, and lifted the carcass of the bonito by the tail and dropped it overboard.
He could feel the steady hard pull of the line and his left hand was cramped. It drew up tight on the heavy cord and he looked at it in disgust.
Make yourself into a claw. It will do you no good.
Eat it now and it will strengthen the hand. But you can stay with him forever. Eat the bonito now. He picked up a piece and put it in his mouth and chewed it slowly. It was not unpleasant. Chew it well, he thought, and get all the juices. It would not be bad to eat with a little lime or with lemon or with salt.
He chewed it carefully and then spat out the skin. Or is it too early to know? This is hardly sweet at all and all the strength is still in it. I wish I had some salt. And I do not know whether the sun will rot or dry what is left, so I had better eat it all although I am not hungry.
The fish is calm and steady. I will eat it all and then I will be ready. He is my brother. But I must kill him and keep strong to do it. Slowly and conscientiously he ate all of the wedge- shaped strips of fish. He straightened up, wiping his hand on his trousers. But what is his plan, he thought.
And what is mine? Mine I must improvise to his because of his great size. If he will jump I can kill him. But he stays down forever. Then I will stay down with him forever. But it would not open.
Maybe it will open with the sun, he thought. Maybe it will open when the strong raw tuna is digested. If I have to have it, I will open it, cost whatever it costs. But I do not want to open it now by force. Let it open by itself and come back of its own accord. After all I abused it much in the night when it was necessary to free and untie the various lines.
He looked across the sea and knew how alone he was now. But he could see the prisms in the deep dark water and the line stretching ahead and the strange undulation of the calm. The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a 6o The Gld Man and the Sea flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.
He thought of how some men feared being out of sight of land in a small boat and knew they were right in the months of sudden bad weather. But now they were in hurricane months and, when there are no hurri- canes, the weather of hurricane months is the best of all the year.
If there is a hurricane you always see the signs of it in the sky for days ahead, if you are at sea. They do not see it ashore because they do not know what to look for, he thought. The land must make a difference too, in the shape of the clouds. But we have no hurri- cane coming now. He looked at the sky and saw the white cumulus built like friendly piles of ice cream and high above were the thin feathers of the cirrus against the high September sky. I hate a cramp, he thought.
It is humiliating before others to have a diar- rhoea from ptomaine poisoning or to vomit from it. But a cramp, he thought of it as a calamhre, humiliates one- self especially when one is alone.
If the boy were here he could rub it for me and loosen it down from the forearm, he thought. But it will loosen up. Then, with his right hand he felt the difference in the pull of the line before he saw the slant change in the water. Then, as he leaned against the line and slapped his left hand hard and fast against his thigh he saw the line slanting slowly upward.
Please come on. He came out unendingly and water poured from his sides. He was bright in the sun and his head and back were dark purple and in the sun the stripes on his sides showed wide and a light lavender.
His sword was as long as a baseball bat and tapered like a rapier and he rose his full length from the water and then re-entered it, smoothly, like a diver and the old 62 The Old Man and the Sea man saw the great scythe-blade of his tail go under and the line commenced to race out. The line was going out fast but steadily and the fish was not panicked. The old man was trying with both hands to keep the line just inside of breaking strength.
He knew that if he could not slow the fish ' with a steady pressure the fish could take out all the I line and break it. He is a great fish and I must convince him, he. I must never let him learn his strength nor j what he could do if he made his run. If I were him I I would put in everything now and go until something! But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as ' we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able.
The old man had seen many great fish. He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never alone. Surely it will uncramp to help my right hand. There are three things that are brothers: It must uncramp. It is unworthy of it to be cramped. The fish had slowed again and was going at his usual pace.
I wonder why he jumped, the old man thought. He jumped almost as though to show me how big he was.He ate them all through May to be strong in September and October for the truly big fish. The water was a dark blue now, so dark that it was almost purple. In the turtle boats I was in the cross-trees of the mast-head and even at that height I saw much.
But after that each one can widen the open- ing of the hook wound and he can throw the hook. In the darkness he loosened his sheath knife and taking all the strain of the fish on his left shoulder he leaned back and cut the line against the wood of the gunwale. Although Manolin is apprenticed under some one else but he has true conviction just in the mentorship of Santaigo. You must do nothing stupid. I must never let him learn his strength nor j what he could do if he made his run.