Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

The old fisherman Santiago brought with him the perspective that the great American writer Ernest Hemingway portrayed in his short story The Old Man and the Sea .

by admin

In life, surely we will inevitably fail and lose faith in life, but it is important that we know how to stand up after those stumbles. “Being defeated is a temporary state, giving up is a permanent defeat.” That’s what I learned after reading ” The Old Man and the Sea ” by American writer – Hemingway.

“The Old Man and the Sea” has the English name “The Old Man san the Sea”, this is considered Hemingway‘s most successful novel, the work has been honored to receive many awards such as the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. 1953, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. This work was written by Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba and after only one year was published and received the love of many readers around the world.The Old Man And The Sea(Ông Già Và Biển Cả)

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The content of “The Old Man and the Sea” is the story about the 3 days 2 night sailing trip of the main character named Santigo on the vast ocean. Santigo is an old fisherman who loves nature and loves his job. His life was very poor and miserable with just a small boat, so it was difficult for him to catch big fish. After many failed sailings, he was still undaunted and this time he decided to make a big catch. And sure enough, as he intended, he defeated a proud and beautiful giant swordfish. The swordfish is too strong while the old man is too old and weak. But with his spirit of determination, he did not give up. After 3 days of struggling, he had “collected all his strength, plus the new strength the old man had just put on, he stuck his nose into the fish’s side, right behind the visor on his side, which was then raised to the level of the old man’s chest. Feeling the steel blade had dug into its flesh, the old man crouched down, exerting all the strength of his body to press harder and deeper. The old man caught the fish, conquered its power, and conquered the ocean.

However, luck was not on his side, in the process of bringing the swordfish to the shore, he was suddenly caught by the sharks. He tried his best to fight the sharks, but by the time he got to the shore, the big and fat swordfish had only a skeleton left.

” The Old Man and the Sea ” is just a short novel with 123 pages, but it really left readers with many emotions, thoughts, and many meaningful lessons. The title alone makes readers impressed and curious. Why not the old man and the sharks? or the old man and the swordfish? but the old man and the sea? It is no coincidence that Hemingway gives such a title that here he wants to compare, want to affirm that man can be equal to nature, but not really small. With his strong will and determination, man can conquer and master all things.

With his unique artistic pen, Hemingway portrayed the image of the character Old Santigo with the image of a very close and simple fisherman with an old look, sunburned skin, and old scars only. Only the eyes are still sharp. His eyes were always filled with hope and optimism. After his failed trips, his hope never faltered but grew stronger. No matter how badly the sea treated him, he still did not blame the sea, but on the contrary, he loved it as passionately as a woman.

Review of the book The Old Man and the Sea

“Every day is a new day. Better luck. But I like accuracy. When my luck comes, I’ll be ready.” Those were the autobiographical words of old Santigo.

The details and events in ” The Old Man and the Sea “help us to see that old Santigo’s thinking is very intelligent and positive. Thanks to that, we also understand more that to be successful, we have to think differently. Success is a long process of our patience, perseverance, and hard work, not momentary luck every day or two. In addition, the author also wants to remind readers that in life as well as at work, we should not be sloppy and lazy because if so, there will never be good results.

I understand that old Santigo has used his abilities to the fullest and is always looking for ways to catch the fish just like we all have to rise to find our dreams and aspirations in life. The image of the swordfish with its brave beauty, always daring to face the dangers in this work is a symbol of the dreams and aspirations of each person who wants to rise up.

The road to success, to glory, has never been easy for old Santigo, in the process of fighting the swordfish there was a time when he was tired, he wanted to rest but no he did not give up, “I can endure without sleep,” he thought to himself. But that’s just too dangerous. The old man began to crawl toward the stern of the boat, being careful not to tug at the rope. “Perhaps he’s asleep, too,” he thought. But I don’t want it to rest, it has to drag until it dies” – Santigo’s words have taught us a very profound and meaningful lesson that should not be lazy or too easy with ourselves, always take advantage of the opportunity because maybe the opportunity will be lost, then we will really regret it.

Review of the book The Old Man and the Sea

The highlight before the end of the story is the image of the skeleton of the swordfish. After 3 days and 2 nights of fatigue, fighting with many difficulties, he brought back the giant swordfish skeleton. So our question here is whether he failed or succeeded after this journey. Many people think that he failed because the swordfish was eaten by the sharks. But no, Old Santigo was really successful, in everyone, the first success was that he was able to win over himself and catch a big swordfish after many failures still not being discouraged. The second success was that he was able to defeat the herd of “the fierce sea gods” and landed safely. Old Santigo is a very ordinary person but has extraordinary energy. An old man who conquered endless nature without flinching.

In addition, in the work there is a group of ferocious sharks, that are about to attack the swordfish – the only result after the trip of old Santigo, this is also a way that Hemingway wants to criticize, mocking those who are jealous, envious of other people’s success and always competing for the good results of others while it is a long and arduous process for them.

” The Old Man and the Sea ” was described by Hemingway in a truthful, vivid, very attractive, captivating detail that makes anyone who reads the book can’t take their eyes off. The book has brought lessons and life philosophies that are very familiar, close and profound, and full of education that we sometimes forget in life.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The journey to find and conquer each of our dreams will be extremely difficult and arduous, but let’s be like old man Santigo, always persevere, be optimistic, and have faith and hope in the most difficult times. Do not hesitate to face the difficulties and challenges in your life! Life is only lived once, we must live it so that we will not regret the unfinished plans of our youth when we grow old. Happy reading!


The story of a Cuban fisherman with only hope to sustain his austere life evokes the basic truths of life.

Dreamers, never see the coming tides. But who can blame them? It is better to paddle across an ocean of hope than to swim in a sea of ​​despair. No matter what’s underneath: a world without dreamers is a nightmare.

Santiago, the old man in Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novel, is a dreamer. But with age, his dreams have changed, trampled and worn down by decades of fishing in Stream Bay: His dreamy mind is no longer focused on life’s major milestones but instead it’s about a childhood memory: lions playing on an African beach. “Why are the lions the only thing left over?” he wondered.

Santiago is a simple man. Fishing is his life, and baseball and the Gran Ligas are his domain. A New York delinquent, “The Great DiMaggio” was his earthly god. But gradually, the sea turned cruel, and the old man endured 84 days without catching a single fish. He believes in luck but not superstition. He is devout but not religious, wary of religion even though he can be shaken. When the time is right, when hope carries the bait under the deep blue sea, Santiago silently prays that he will not only have the strength but also the courage to bring the reward back to the land: “I will read ten times the Hail Mary and ten times the Hail Mary if I should catch this fish, and I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin de Cobre if I catch it. It’s a promise.”

Given the village’s trade, “the worst form of bad luck”, his body was barren and rough from years of labor but with those “joyful and invincible” blue eyes. , he began day 85 since his last sailing and sailed out, away from deep wells with no harvest, toward “schools of albacore bonita, where he could earn more. : “My big fish must be somewhere.”

He was right. But then, the prey takes the bait and the real challenge begins. Day after day, with little or no sleep, he lost his way in time and the algae in the Sargasso Sea passed. Having to eat raw fish to maintain his strength, and gradually demoralizing the blue marlin, Santiago regrets his bad plan: “I will never board a boat without salt or lemon.” But then his words were associated with the implication that he would set sail again.

He would win the battle but lose the reward, and despair pushed him beyond the limits of reality. He lamented the demise of his daring but unyielding dream: “A man can be destroyed but cannot be defeated.”

As I was rereading this fictional story, the news came that an elderly priest had been murdered at the altar in Normandy, where he was presiding over Mass. After the terror subsided, I turned to Hemingway again for solace. Words have a source of power that violence cannot destroy. Praying in a church or shouting in a storm, words are a lifelong companion. And Hemingway’s words, in this flimsy book, are as influential, steady, and gentle as a lighthouse.

The Old Man and the Sea is a beautiful story, filled with the saltiness of the sea, sweat, fish bait, and beer on the Havana coast. It speaks to a fundamental truth about humanity: in a world full of turmoil, from our first breath to our desires,  through both trivial and profound victories and pitfalls, in the end, What keeps us alive is hope.

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Better Than Food September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Big thanks to Ridge for sending me this wallet and supporting the channel! Here’s the site if you want to check them out! >

pavel0900 September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Well reviewed

Cub Beige September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I love the repetitions in the middle of the book. It feels hypnotic almost…all we read is how he does the act, the old man's simple and repetitive thoughts while battling the Marlin while he is hungry. One of the best uses of simple language I've ever read. The repetitions makes me feel exhausted and delirious just like Santiago and almost holding my breath as
he slaves away out in the middle of the ocean in total darkness.

Ianus September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Have you reviewed The Sun Also Rises?

Yitbarek Mekonnen September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Is Sade absurd or nihilist? this is the question I kept asking myself. I recently read this material; it is biggest fight against corpse. who is fighting? corpses are fighting each other, so this is nascent for the coming AI world to be proliferating. The boy's illusion is biggest of all….life can function on both sides, in water, and on land…our illusion being on land is disgusting experience….Metaphysics is so appealing to our illusion on land

Jason Morgan September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

"What we need is less hope and more action." Some people need to hear that line yesterday.

Pat Aherne September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

It's when you're lost, that's when the adventure begins.

Li Sev September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Nah… felt frustrated. All that trouble so these damn sharks can eat it😡 you have plenty of fish around you…

Confused Rhodes September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

When I was reading it it felt like the exact opposite of The Death of a Salesman. A man at the end of his life who is a master of his craft that is loved by the town and is brutally honest with himself about life. The story ends with him victorious and still living to fight a little longer. The salesman was the exact opposite and I think that was really cool to see the completely different lives the two men led.

Michael Argenta September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Im sunburn and pail.. Sounds like a beginning of a good book. Joe damaggios father is guisueppe in 1942.

bunnycatch3r September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

And who was the boy?
Answer: Young Prince Hamlet between acts 4 and 5
lol/jk The book is sublime and it genially deflects interpretation.

Christian Metatron September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Nice analysis. Hemingway's style is always masculine evident in the short, choppy, punchy sentence structure man always fighting or struggling and not necessarily overcoming. The victory is often internal in Hemingway's work. He rewrote The Old Man and The Sea 20 times before putting his pen down. A master story teller. I'm a fan too.

Common Swense September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

A book much better on its second read.

cetin metin September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

A science fiction version of this novel wouldn't be bad at all: The Old Man and the Space

Prettybookinggood September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I just reread this book as an adult today. This book is so much what I needed. I’m so glad I did. Thanks for doing this amazing review. Sooooo eloquently stated 👌🏽

Deb September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Today I read this headline on the Daily Mail news site.
'University warns woke students that Ernest Hemingway's classic novel Old Man and the Sea contains graphic scenes…

Lee Hutchings September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Having just read the book, I enjoyed it a lot. However, I do have a question – a potential plot hole. After the first couple of sharks have eaten the fish, reducing the fish's weight. So why does the Old Man not pull what's left of the fish onto his boat? At least then, the Old Man would have something to return with and sell at the market?

Arya Khajuria September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I finished this book today and already intend to revisit it again and again over years to come!

Fred Block September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

This book has been on a "list" of mine for way too long. Denzel was reading it "The Equalizer" and I thought, "There it is!" I could have easily read the book a thousand times since it was added to my list – and should have. On the way to my gate in the EWR airport, I turned a corner and was facing a bookstore. I bought myself a hardcover copy. Best book purchase ever! Thanks for sharing this review. I'm not a big reader but I "know fishing" because I am an avid angler. However, this book was not about fishing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll probably read it on my way home too; and regularly!

Alex Morrison September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I read it nearly 30 years ago. The only Hemingway I have, and I did because it was short. Started around then For whom the bell tolls, but didn´t get far. I really liked this one, and it left a mark, as sombody mentions here. Always wondered why both Truman Capote and Bukowski thought it was shit. I´m sure they were both influenced by Hemingway. Maybe they thought it was too sentimental? I had read very little up to that point, so I couldn´t tell if my overall impression was right.

Miles Williams September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I just finished this about 30 minutes ago. I read it in high school, but I didn't remember anything about it. What an absolutely brilliant little book. All of that in 130 pages. Fucking brilliant!

David Fischel September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Love your channel! Excellent review. Donald Sutherland does an excellent reading of this for your next go-round. (Also thanks for the Serotonin recommendation!)

Golf Ghost September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

My public library in Portland has been selling all their surplus stock for really cheap and I took that opportunity to buy about 20 of the classics which I've been putting off reading for a long time. Luckily, I got a few Hemingway books.
I read this in just a few hours at work and what a great fucking story.
I've also been reading through Conrad's Nostromo and I would be overjoyed if you did a review of it at some point because it's great so far.

Marie M. September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Looooooved your review ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Ka Metro Gnome September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I read this book when I was about 13 and loved it it’s only now that I’m in my 20’s I realise why I loved it and how much of an effect it had on me since reading it

Neal R3dhand Family September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Great review! I am definitely a subscriber now. I am curious about all the reasons why Santiago kept referring to the boy. He kept thinking or repeating to himself that he wished the boy was there. It just seems as if there was a deeper meaning to that. Perhaps he not and he just thought I could use some damn help right now. LOL

Frank Jeffries September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Hemingway was RICH…. flying all over the world hunting on private game reservations.., conversing with Hollywood elite at the time….. then he blows his head off……the friggin farthest thing from this poor fisherman he portrays. Similar to the Satanist Tom Cruise in my opinion.

StopFear September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I was as listening to a Russian book author (Dmitry Bykov) from Echo of Moscow radio and he described Hemingway books, including Old man and the sea, as books about winning but not getting rewards of any kind in the end and how Hemingway and characters of his books are unable to experience winning in the common superficial sense. That to them it’s the process of trying to win is almost more than the end result.

Andrey Rojas Madrigal September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Great review, beatiful book. I like to think the fish is a metaphor of the artistic master piece, a glimpse of the unachievable work for Hemingway, and the sharks are the new generation of writers that also seek this great work of art, and of course Hemingway would never yield to another man in his own field.

Taufeeq Fakir September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

My father doesn't read… just a stance he has taken in life. I forced him to read this book. He's reading it now. In front of the fire. I have to go into the lounge to add wood to the fire place because he doesn't see when it's going to die. The only problem I have is finding another book for him to read of similar calibre.

OVI September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Dope shirt! where did you get it?

Kenneth Carvalho September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

kind of reminds me of Life of Pi…

Dead Star September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

You couldn’t have done a better job at explaining this book great job

MMMM September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

"To write interesting stuff you need to have an interesting life" word!

Same goes for music, entrepreneurship, or just any artistic endevour really…

White Knight September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm


I disagree kindly. Kant had one of the most boring lives possible, but still he wrote some interesting stuff.

Didn't he?

Shreyan Das September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Completely agree with your dissection of the book. Helped me broaden my horizon and look a little further. Love the book too!

DantezMaritu September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Regarding Hemingway. I feel like Hunter S. Thompson had the best understanding of him. His farewell to him, collected in the Great Shark Hunt collection, seriously humanizes him and provides some nice insight into of one of the last true men of our era.

guth September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I know I have that problem of being obsessed with endings but god damn is the ending to this book fucking beautiful.

Kevin Porter September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I reject Hemingway's macho man philosophy entirely – give me Kafka, Dostoyevsky and Camus any day. Existentialist angst blows huntin'. shootin', fishin', John Wayneism out of the water.

Jay Balagulan September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Thanks for this review man! 💪

Andrea Lanzillotta September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

My favorite book of all time.
I only want to say that Santiago fishing that damned marlin and taking his spine to L'havana demonstrates to the rest of the community that he is still good at fishing and none believed it before. I've always thought this was important for the book as what you said.

Great great video

Forbes Avila September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Why Santiago didn't catch any of the shark and sell that instead of the marlin? Is the shark only as a parable?

June Chevalier September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

I think to give up Santiago's catch to the sharks would have been a patronizing act, if he was indeed respecting the sharks. Giving the sharks a fair fight is the way to show respect.

Nick Oliveri September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm


Painbow September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

As dry and terse as most of his other books. This one was especially forgettable.

Leo Alexander September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

When tuna fishing, it's sometimes necessary to pour water on the reel to prevent the heat from snapping the line and/or igniting it. Imagine holding the line on a marlin.

Leo Alexander September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Out of context, "… the sharks he has to fight," could accidentally draw in some of those Marvel fans.

AU RA September 20, 2022 - 8:55 pm

Plz make a review of the sun also rises


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