An old man and the sea





An old man and the sea.
This is a shortened version of a famous book by Ernest Hemingway. Through this story we can feel the struggle of man against nature. We also learn something about human nature. Therefore, we can say that this is one story with two levels of understanding. Read how Hemingway does this in his writing.

An old fisherman lived on the coast of Cuba. He was thin and had many deep lines on the back of his neck. His skin was dark from the sun, and his hands were marked from the lines he used to pull in heavy fish. But all these marks were old. Every part of him seemed old, except for his eyes. They were cheerful and the same color as the sea.
The old man had not caught any fish in eighty-four days. People said that he was unlucky. But the old man still loved the sea. He was still strong, and he was a good fisherman. On the eighty-fifth day, the old man sailed his boat farther out to sea than any of the others. He sailed until the water was very deep.

Finally, he felt his fishing-line being pulled by a big fish which was swimming deep in the water. The fish was so powerful that it pulled the boat behind it. It pulled the small boat far out to sea. The old man could no longer see the land.
Fish, he said softly, aloud, Ill stay with you until I die.
The old man pulled the line a little tighter, but he did not dare to pull it suddenly. The fish might jump and escape. Or it might dive deep in the sea and pull the boat after it. The fish was strong and brave. It pulled the boat no and on. When the fish at last swam to the surface, the fisherman saw an amazing sight. The old man had seen many great fish, but this one was the greatest fish he had ever seen. It was also the most beautiful.

On and on the old man held the line, and on and on the great fish resisted capture. On the morning of the third long day, however, the end came. Tired and full of pain, the old man threw his harpoon into the heart of the grate fish. The fish rose high out of the water, showing its magnificent power and beauty. The next moment it was dead. Slowly and painfully, the old man tied the fish to the side of the boat. Then he turned back and sailed toward the distant shore. He sailed well, and he looked often at the huge fish.

Then the first shark came. The old man killed it, but he lost his harpoon and all of his rope. Two hours later, two more sharks came, then more. The old man fought them with his oar and his knife. Then he used a stick and wood from the boat to fight the sharks. But he knew he was beaten. When he sailed in to the little bay and pulled his boat to shore, no fish was left, only the giant white backbone.
The next morning, the fishermen in the village gathered round the small boat. They measured the big bone of the fish. It was eighteen feet long. What a fish it was! someone shouted.
There had never been such a fish.
The old man smiled when he heard these words. It made him remember the long, hard battle with the sharks. He didnt know exactly how to feel. At that time he could hear a sound from somewhere deep in his heart, There will be other days and other fish. Its not always so important if you win or lose. Your must keep trying. You should never give up. He calmly looked over the sea. After a while, he could feel something moving in his heart. It was his desire to have yet another battle.

- Adapted from The Old Man and the Sea,
By Ernest Hemingway

Comments