The Old Man and the Sea

Galang Adi Firdaus
1.1 Introduction
I have read a short Literary Fiction novel from a novelist Ernest Hemingway
written in 1951 in Cuba. The novel is only took about 80 pages, Telling about a
fisherman who are always unlucky in fishing in 84 days and he tried to test his luck
on day 85. I think this novel always has a meaning in every characters, places and
events. I do not know Ernest Hemmingway and his works, but the notion of
symbols that I think is in his work has to do with life and moral messages. In my
opinion, the meaning of the symbols can be different between someone with
1.2 Discussion
Firstly, I am a lover of fiction novel but I am less interested in this literary
works. This kind of novel is the first time for me and it's hard to read it at first, I've
read novels like The Hobbit, Assassin's Creed, The Maze Runner that has the genre
of fiction but I enjoyed it for what it is and feel there is no meaning behind the
actions of characters and places. I think this is literature and this is what I have
been working on, which is English literature, it must have meaning and form of
language that is “sprinkled” with artistic words, but I realize that the language used
is not as old as the works of classical literature such as Shakespeare or others, will
be more difficult in my opinion. At first I read this novel, I did it with a little
forced because I do not know about it, and I would not expect to judge this book
first. The story tells about a fisherman who failed in his attempt to get a fish for
days, 84 days more precisely. He has a friend, a boy who always helps him when
the old man is on the land, this boy has previously accompanied the old man to go
fishing but he is now no longer participate because his parents told him to fish with
other more productive fisherman.
I think the old man describes as "someone" in life, whether it be you, me or
someone else. The old man describes a person in his life adventure. While the boy
describes the figure of parents who always support their child who is portrayed as a
parent of the old man figure, the boy is always trying to fulfill and help the needs
of the old man. Land and sea means the comfort zone of the old man, the old man
returns to the land of his comfort zone when he is finished with his affairs and will
come out of the comfort zone to the sea to finish his business. Children who reach
the age to adulthood will leave their parents to seek identity with no help of
parents. Next is the old man wants to come back again to find the fish on day 85.
Before the trip, the boy provides supplies for the old man to take when looking for
fish. And then the old man left for the ocean.
While in the ocean, the old man at one time saw a bird flying over the water
looking for food and was a sign to the the old man that there was a fish, and
dolphins coming out of the water and also a school of flying fish afterwards. In my
opinion, when someone comes out of his comfort zone, he will adjust to his
surroundings, he will search for everything that makes him comfortable and
enduring, one of them is friends, friends who will help us and we feel helped by
When the old man is looking for a fish, he saw a bird looking for the same food
is like a friend who helps us in our business, and then there are flying fish that are
biased as our goals, what we expect in our lives and our goals. In the novel is
described as a fisherman looking for fish, aligned. Next he saw jellyfishes that
came out of the sea and eaten by turtles, I thought it was a sea anemone because
there is a description of fish that is immune to its poison but not with humans,
reminiscent of sea anemone and clown fish. But Hemmingway gives the pictures
of other images to give our imagination a vision of his novel. And helped by the
turtle eating the object, then I conclude it is a jellyfish. The old man looks hated
the jellyfish because he had cursed when he met with "the Portuguese man-ofwar". I concluded that jellyfish is a depiction of bad things, wrong, bad on the
world and turtles eat jellyfish describes good things that eliminate bad things, and
then the old man is happy to see it.
Then on the next thing he found birds that was hunting fishes and he
approached him, and he got a small tuna. "Albacore", he said aloud. "He'll make a
beautiful bait " the small tuna depicts a small opportunity that he can use, meaning
he can use it to a bigger fish/opportunity, the old man also speaks aloud to himself
which can be interpreted as his longing to his parents, in the future sometimes he
often hoping for the boy's presence to help him, it is like a "homesick." Then
shortly after, the old man gets the fish that he will fight for about 3 days, this fish
in my opinion is an important figure because many of the novel sheets will tell the
old man fight with this fish. The fish he caught was a marlin whose size exceeded
the boat, in my opinion, this marlin fish is a symbol of the LIFE OBJECTIVES of
a man, all the effort and time spent by man to get it, the old man struggled for days
and made his back and his hands hurt, like a picture of human effort in the struggle
to find their life purpose. In the middle of his struggle, when he has no energy and
cramps, he motivates himself and gives confidence by remembering the past when
he was Santiago El Campeón, he remembered that time when he was arm wrestle
with a Negro, he was once one of the strongest in the dock and he is often used as a
bet whether the old man or the negro is winning.
After struggling, in the end the old man managed to get the fish and went back
to his home. However, in the middle of the journey, the old man gets an uninvited
guest sharks, who take the catch from the old man many times until it runs out until
the skeleton and head are only left. The sharks may be likened to responsibilities,
family responsibilities, everything we have obliged we have to share with our
families because it is a form of human responsibility, or the destiny of God which
illustrates that even though we struggle and exhaust the power , the things not
necessarily ours / our rights.
My favorite part in this novel is the attention of the boy who always strives for
the needs of the old man to be fulfilled, even if the boy has brought food, coffee
and newspapers to the old man, but when the old man is done thanking him and his
permission to wash -which I think the old man took the initiative to seek his own
water- the boy thinks "how thoughtless I am" which I think he has been thoughtful
enough to satisfy all the old man's needs that I think the old man is not
accompanied the boy, then he will forget or hard to get these needs. The boy also
showed his concern for the old man by asking what he had captured, what he had
done as he was learning to the old man. In addition, they also often talk about
baseball that seems to be their favorite sport.
1.3 Conclusion
Before I read the old man and the sea, I have the prejudice that I would not
like a book like this, but, who knows? This is a literary work I have never thought
of to read and enjoy, this book is not so bad but it is not the best book I have ever
read, everyone has their own taste and no one else can impose their will. A book
that I think will have a difficult language has the same language as today's
literature, is easy to understand too, all you need is to let your imagination roam
free because a fiction novel needs it.THE OLDMAN AND THE SEA by ERNEST
HEMINGWAY became my unforgettable reading experience because this book is
my first literary book like the first love, even though you find another novel, this
novel will always come back to my mind.