The Old Man and the Sea
Reading for the sake of reading is nice. I remember when I was a kid I had the chance to choose between playing Nintendo or reading and although there was a collection of books for children which I had much desire to read, the truth is that my desired was not enough for me to engaged in reading because every time I choose Mario's jumping around and trying to rescue the princess. At this point, I don't regret it, although I recognize that I would like to find those books these days and read them. I remember with melancholy, my parents buying that collection in times of great economic need and I did not read them because of Mario... Maybe I do regret it a bit...
Letting the guilt aside and pondering on the decisions one makes in life; I'm going to talk about a book. Looking at the friendly side, thanks to all the time I lost playing NES, today I enjoy the need to read what escaped me in another time.
So, I recently discovered this great classic book. The book won the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, been the intellectual son of one of the most acclaimed and beloved authors in the United States. I'm talking about Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
I read a lot, but I usually read technical books and books related to my line of work. Lately, I've have been interested in reading to develop personal growth and to entertain myself. Literature has an important function in the synergy of our minds. While reading, and especially reading good literature, our brain gets into the action of what is reading and it begins to see itself in the text. Our brain starts to wonder how he would react, how he would have felt in a parallel situation, therefore, the things we read serve as clues for our own conduct. The behavior of the heroes we read, their situations, their trials and their mourning bring context and example to the situations, trials, and mourning of our life.
In the Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway gives us only one great scene. The scene of a man who struggles with his age, his reality, his life and his circumstances.
Santiago, the main character, is an old fisherman in the twilight of his life, although he is old he feels full of vitality. He who has not had luck in fishing for more than 84 days starts a journey to change his luck. This is how Hemingway puts us in the story of his own life while talking about a fisherman in Cuba because his writing in a similar situation. Hemingway's character is making a come-back and he as a writer is also making a comeback after years of not writing. The Old Man and the Sea is the story of a man in a desperate situation; he is frustrated, he is in financial need and he embarks on a mission, a mission to change his life, to break his bad streak and to make a great catch that potentially can change everything.
The book takes us on a modern odyssey. Where the author tells us the martyrdom of Santiago while compelling us to think about our lives, our struggles, and our own martyrdom. The story becomes the story of a great failure, when after three days of fighting in the sea, Santiago manages to capture the largest fish he has ever seen, but between the long way back to land and the fierce sharks, the fish is destroyed. Santiago arrives defeated to the port in the same way as sometimes we arrive also defeated at our destinies, but his fight, his effort, his great loss was his great victory too, as also often seem like that in our lives.
Upon his return, Santiago, who believed himself defeated by his circumstances, showed that he had brought the largest fish that anyone had seen, proved that he was better than those who mocked him. He also showed that he was still a capable fisherman, and above all showed that he had the courage to fight and fight to the end.
The story seems to me to be interesting because it is a good story of a fisherman who, to the quick and superficial reader's eye, is a brief history of life at sea, but for the insightful reader is the story of life and struggle that all of us face. The story puts us in an absolute question. Are we tireless fighters willing to live a life radically and meaningfully? Do we really believe in us? How far are we willing to go to prove ourselves our worth?
Written with sweetness, clarity, and poetry, full of simplicity and depth, The Old Man and the Sea is a story to enjoy and feel inspired. So it is a reading that we definitely recommend and hope that it will also be of inspiration for you.
Note to the reader.