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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
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Apr 16, 2009

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Read in January, 2009

An old man, an experienced fisherman has gone without catching a fish for 84 days. He feels that his pride and reputation in the community are on the line. His usual companion and helper Manolin is not with him anymore because his parents, after 40 days without catching a fish feel that the old man is a “Salao”and have told Manolin to fish with another group that have better luck than the old man. Manolin, however remains dedicated to the old man since he is his mentor and the fisherman with the most experience. He helps the old man every morning loading up his fishing gear and continuously worries for his well being. The old man feels that his luck is about to change, he feels 85 is his lucky number. Once before he went 87 days without catching a fish. This time he goes out fishing further out, where the big fish are. After one day a marlin bites one of the lines and a big struggle begins. The fish pull him for about two days. He finally kills the fish. However he admires the fish for his endurance and being true to his nature. He plans to sell the fish and make a nice profit. The fish is so big that he is unable to pull it on board and has to attach it to the skiff. The blood trail left by the marlin brings a mako shark who takes a 40 lb. bite out of the marlin before being killed by the old man. A pair of shovel-nose sharks (Galanos) come afterwards and take big bites out of the marlin before being killed by the old man. Other sharks take what is left of the marlin leaving only the head, spear and esqueletton. The old man finally arrives at the village and feels defeated. The remains of the marlin however attest to the size of the fish (18 ft), biggest marlin ever caught in the village and restore his sense of pride. Manolin finds him sleep and feeling defeated. He reassures the old man that he was not defeated and he still is the most experience fisherman and that he will go with the old man fishing from now on.
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