The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Witten by PresidentELLA

The old man knew. For the most part, life takes faith and patience. I couldn’t have chose a better book to read  during my trip to Cuba to find my long-lost family and (forgive my Catholicism) I think God chose this for me as God seemed to guide and protect the old man.. Santiago is an old, poor Cuban fisherman said to be riddled with misfortune.  “The Old Man and the Sea,” is a tale of how friendship can give you the strength to hope.

Hemingway’s tale opens with introducing us to Santiago and “The Boy”‘s relationship. We never learn The Boy’s name, we only witness his loyalty to the old man, who had first taught him to fish. After a few weeks without catching fish, The Boy’s family makes him work on a different boat but the boy still makes sure to check on Santiago to make sure he is well and that he has eaten — how many of our modern day friends do that for us? 

No matter the supposed “bad luck” Santiago has, he decides to go out to the deep and find the big fish he feels is destined for him. Before he heads out, he thinks to himself, “I have no luck anymore. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready. (32)” You already know Santiago catches that fish, and you should know that it isn’t easy. It doesn’t matter how lucky you are, you must be prepared to fight for what you want. And sometimes, the fight is where you learn the most. 

Although he suffered terrible in the middle of the ocean by himself, he was never by himself. Not just though (literally) talking to himself, but in remembering “The Boy”. He care and compassion for the boy — and his desire to prove that he was not unlucky — gave him reason to power through and succeed. He often says, “If the boy was here,” and the same through is trumped by “but The Boy is not here” and so he must complete the task on his own. When Santiago returns back to shore a few days later, the boy is the first to check on him.  Bruised and battered from his time out on the sea, the old man is barely responsive, but the boy, with tears streaming down his face, brings him his food and coffee as he typically would. His heart is broken by what his friend must have endured without him, and that is the true testament of friendship: Friends miss you when you are gone; and friends come back to you. 


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