This novel weaves together the story of an old man, reflective and humble, and a giant Marlin, the largest ever seen, who engage in a struggle to the death. The novel is a wonderful mixture of all the distress and praise of life revisited and, in a way, it weighs out the experiences at face value as the old man recognizes his age and deteriorating old body. This book could be an extended metaphor of almost anything. I choose to believe it is a metaphor of life's unpredictable wonder and valuable experiences.
This man, Santiago, characterizes the meaning of Hemingway's life as writer. He is very humble despite a past of glorious fishing and being "El champion" of the village. Santiago is no longer interested in glories which are pushed out with the coming of old age and true wisdom; he is content with life as it is and dreaming of lions and reading about baseball.
The old man is unlucky, he hasn't caught a fish in eighty-four days and he is poor that he must rely on a boy to provide for him his necessities of life. The boy is attached to the man but his parents will not let him fish with the man because he has become so unlucky. So the man goes alone on his skiff out to the sea, doing the most he possibly can with his weathered and deteriorating body. The man going alone with no help from the boy is an important factor in the story which is based upon independence of spirit and the drive of one man against nature.
Life brings challenges and obstacles and seem to be a large problem to an individual at the time they occur, but in the reality of the big picture the problems are...