The Old Man and the Sea


Day 1


Santiago, an aging fisherman, has not caught a fish for 84 days. After the first 40 days, his young assistant's parents made the boy switch to a more successful fishing boat, considering Santiago "the worst form of unlucky." The assistant, Manolin, still chooses to help Santiago carry his fishing equipment back to his one-room shack every evening.

At the start of the novel, since Manolin has made money with the prosperous fishermen, he offers to fish with Santiago again. He reminds Santiago of the time they went 87 days without catching anything, then caught big fish daily for three weeks. Manolin complains that he had to switch boats to obey his father, who doesn't have faith, unlike him and Santiago.

On the way to Santiago's shack, Manolin buys Santiago a beer at the Terrace café. Some of the fishermen there mock Santiago, while the older ones look at him sadly and make polite conversation, but Santiago isn't upset. Manolin offers to give Santiago fresh sardines to fish with, but the old man tells him to go play baseball instead.

After reminiscing about all of the years they spent fishing as a team, Santiago humbly accepts the sardines. Santiago tells Manolin that he plans to row far out into the sea tomorrow. Manolin asks if he is "strong enough now for a truly big fish," and Santiago says that he believes so.

The two return to Santiago's palm-leaf shack, which has just a bed, table, chair, shelf, cooking pit, and two religious pictures that belonged to his wife. One is the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the other is the Virgin of Cobre, who is the patroness of Cuba. A tinted photo of his wife is on the shelf in the corner, underneath his shirt; he no longer keeps it on the wall because it makes him feel lonely.

As always, Manolin asks Santiago what he's having for dinner, and the old man replies "yellow rice with fish," then offers Manolin some. Manolin says he will eat at home, then offers to start the fire for Santiago, who declines,...

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Essays About The Old Man and the Sea