10 minute bedtime stories: The Old Man and the Sea


10 minute bedtime stories

Book Name: “The Old Man and the Sea”
Writer: Ernest Hemingway” 
Duration: 10 Minute
Type: 10 minute bedtime stories.

Hello, ladies and gentlemen Greetings of the day, welcome to the “10 minute bedtime stories” today our Summary is “The Old Man And The Sea”. By the end of this book “ The Old Man And The Sea”, you will learn everything about Ernest Hemingway’s famous novella, “The Old Man And The Sea. Ernest Hemingway wrote “The Old Man And The Sea” in 1951 in Cuba and published it one year later. It is considered to be one of Hemingway’s best works, which brought him a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway himself praised the book and called it the personification of what he always desired to create.

Background of “The Old Man And The Sea”

The old man and the sea, at its heart, is the story of a man at odds with his weaknesses, and it is not until he meets a worthy opponent that he can get the true measure of his strength. The main character, Santiago, has many great qualities that make him a likable hero. His respect and appreciation for his opponent, the great fish, his love for nature, his disarming simplicity, and his gratitude towards what he has been given, regardless of how little it might be, rise the readers’ interest and make them root for him in his quest to conquer his bad luck.

Exploration of Themes in the Novella

The main themes of The Old Man And The Sea are Perseverance, Suffering, Pride, Friendship, destiny, luck, and Respect. The story of The Old Man And The Sea revolves around a poor Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who is struck by bad luck and has become the subject of his fellow fishermen’s ridicule. When the story starts, Santiago has not fished anything for eighty-four days and has been returning empty-handed from the sea every day.

One day, his apprentice, a boy named Manolin, who had earlier left Santiago to work with other, more successful fishermen, at the behest of his parents, returns to him and explains that his father forced him to leave his company because he lacks faith. Manolin then lets the old man know that he wishes to work with him again. When they stop at a local café, the other fishermen make fun of Santiago. Manolin reminds him of the many years that they fished successfully together and insists to give him fresh bait for fishing. Santiago accepts the bait and tells his apprentice that he has decided to journey a long distance away from the shore tomorrow.

Santiago’s Journey into the Sea

At night, and after eating the food that a local restaurateur gifts Santiago and speaking enthusiastically about the best baseball players of all time, Manolin tells Santiago that he believes he is the greatest fisherman ever and he should not give up. While sleeping, Santiago has a recurring dream about lion cubs playing on a beach in Africa, a scene that he witnessed from the deck of a ship when he was younger. In the morning and after saying goodbye to Manolin, Santiago rows away from the shore and goes far into the heart of the sea. The old fisherman casts his first line and catches an insignificant little fish, which he keeps hoping to use as bait later. After a few hours of drifting away, Santiago realizes that he is so far away from the shoreline that he can’t see it anymore.

At this moment, from the movements of his fishing equipment, he understands that a massive marlin is circling his boat. Hopeful that his unlucky days have finally come to an end and optimistic about the size of his possible catch, he casts a new fishing line. The fish plays around the bait for a little while and then suddenly takes it. To Santiago’s surprise, the marlin is so massive that he can’t pull it inside his boat, at this moment the fish suddenly drags Santiago’s boat further into the ocean, and the old man hoping to tire it out holds fast to his fishing line. The great marlin pulls the skiff for the entire night. After a few hours of tiresome struggle, Santiago realizes that he is so far away from Havana that he cannot see the city lights anymore. The sun rises and the fish keeps dragging the boat and the old man keeps hanging on to the fishing line.

The next morning, Santiago realizes that the fish is swimming at a shallower depth. He prays to God to make the fish jump out of the water to fill its air bladders so it won’t sink deep and die. He then tells the fish that he loves it but promises to defeat it before the day ends. After a sweet conversation with a little bird that lands on his fishing line and contemplating his place in the vastness of the sea, Santiago realizes that his left hand has gone numb from holding on to the fishing line. As he waits for the cramp to go away, he cuts open the small fish that he had caught earlier and eats it. While eating he wishes that he could feed the Marlin and calls the fish his brother. Santiago wishes his apprentice was there to help him, he tells himself that he is disgusted with his weakness and how his hand has betrayed him.

He then makes peace with his problem and accepts that he has been abusing his hand by forcing it into labor all night. Right at this moment, the fish leaps out of the water and Santiago sees it in its entirety for the first time. The Marlin is massive, it is twice the size of the fisherman’s boat and it has a long sword which Santiago likens to a sharp rapier and a baseball bat. The fisherman knows that if the fish realizes how strong it is, it could break the line at any moment, so he vows to not allow the fish to know of its strength and keep the pressure on the line. Santiago says to himself that the Marlin is bigger than any fish that he has ever seen or heard of and that he is certain his hand’s numbness will go away because now his hands and the fish are brothers.

He then pledges to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre if he could successfully defeat the fish. A few hours later the cramp finally lets go of Santiago’s hand. While fighting fatigue he remembers the time in his youth when he was an arm-wrestling champion. Particularly when he arm-wrestled a strong opponent for an entire day and defeated him. At this moment a plane flies above his head and the old fisherman wonders what it would feel like to fly over the sea. At night, while marveling at the vastness of the universe, Santiago thinks of the stars as his distant friends, he then once again calls the marlin his friend too and regrets that he has to kill it. He then concludes that the people who will eat the fish are not worthy of it.

The fisherman then decides to rest. He first positions his body against the line to not lose it and then falls asleep. While sleeping, he dreams of fish in their mating season, his bed at home, and lion cubs in Africa again. Suddenly the fish pulls the line and jumps out of the water. Santiago tugs the line back and cuts his hands. In the morning, and after spending the whole night struggling to hold the line, the old fisherman realizes that the fish is about to turn and that his final battle with the marlin is about to start. What ensues is a long battle between the old man and the giant fish. After many pleas to God for help, Santiago finally kills the fish with his harpoon.

After resting for a bit, the old fisherman straps the giant marlin to his skiff with fishing lines and begins his journey back home. A few minutes later, a shark smelling the fish’s blood in the water chases Santiago’s boat and bites at the marlin’s tail. The fisherman prepares his harpoon again and kills the shark with it but in the process loses his harpoon. Santiago knows that there will be more sharks in the way so he attaches his knife to one of the oars and makes a spear out of it. A couple of hours later two other sharks arrive to eat the fish but Santiago kills both of them. When the fourth shark attacks his boat, Santiago loses his knife after stabbing it which makes him wonder if he should give up and admit that it will be impossible to get the fish home.

But he quickly reminds himself that a man can be destroyed but not defeated and forces himself to do anything in his power to save his great catch and return home a proud fisherman. At sunset, two more sharks attack the fish. The sharks each take a bite but they swim away when the fisherman hits them on the head. At first, Santiago is successful in repelling the attack but a few minutes later the sharks show up again. At this point, the old man realizes he can’t do much against them empty-handed and decides to not worry about the fish anymore and just row as fast as he can towards home, hoping to save at least half of the marlin. A few hours later, and as Santiago sees Havana’s lights, the sharks show up again. The fisherman tries his best to hit them with the oars but he can’t see in the dark.

Finally, when Santiago hits one of them with the splintered end of his oar, and only when they eat most of the fish, do the sharks swim away and leave the old man alone. Santiago who has been injured spits in the water and tells the shark to taste his blood, to think that they have killed a man. As he gets closer to the shore, he asks himself what defeated him? And concludes that nothing truly beat him, he journeyed too far in the sea. And the sea is a place with both friends and enemies. When Santiago finally arrives at the beach, there is no one there. He single-handedly pulls the marlin’s skeleton out of the water. The next morning, Santiago’s apprentice tells him that they sent out a search party after him and Santiago tells him that he was beaten by the sharks.

Conclusion and Reflections on Santiago’s Journey

Manolin tells Santiago that he doesn’t care what his parents say anymore and he will join him on his next fishing trip. During the day, other fishermen and tourists gather to see the skeleton of the fish, and some of them even mistake it for a shark’s carcass. In the end, Santiago regains his respect among his peers and looks forward to his next adventure at sea.

Thank you for reading the story! I hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like, you can explore more “10 Minute Bedtime Stories” for further adventures and cozy moments before sleep.

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