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The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
The old man, or Santiago Timeline and Summary
The old man hasn’t caught a fish in 84 days. He sits on the terrace with Manolin. They reminisce. He and Manolin pretend to have dinner and talk about baseball. The old man falls asleep. He is woken by the boy and they eat. The old man talks about the lions in Africa. He dreams about the lions. He wakes up and then wakes the boy. He sets out on the fishing trip. The old man muses on skill being better than luck, and the quality of his eyes. He watches the sea turtles and jellyfish and characterizes them. He catches a tuna and uses it for bait. The old man talks to himself He hooks the marlin. The agony of holding on to the fish lasts overnight. He recollects having hooked a female marlin when her companion was there. He wishes the boy were there. The old man hooks another fish and cuts it loose (no time to deal with that now). The old man muses a lot about the fish, how he wishes he could see it, how it is his brother, etc. The fish surges and cuts the old man below the eye with the line. Another night passes. The old man feels he really ought to eat the disgusting and raw tuna. The old man gets a cramp in his hand. He believes a man is never alone at sea. He wishes the boy were there again. He gets excited because the fish is jumping. The old man is overwhelmed by the fish’s size. The old man prays. The old man talks about the lions. He compares himself to DiMaggio. He recalls the arm wrestling in Casablanca. He hooks a dolphin and clubs it over the head. If only the marlin had gone that easily... His cramp goes away. He looks at the stars and does what most people do when they look at stars: muses on them. He forces himself to eat some food. He takes a nap and dreams about the lions and is happy, or as happy as one can be when staying in Hotel Agony by the Sea. He is woken up by a sudden jerk from the fish. He forces himself to eat again. He harpoons the fish to death. Yay. The old man is nervous about the blood in the water as he heads home. He harpoons the first shark to death, but loses the harpoon in the process. He ties a knife to the oar tip for a weapon. He muses on whether or not it was a sin to kill the marlin. More sharks come. These are the stupid kind. He kills them, but they take a big chunk of dead marlin with them. His body starts to fail him as he tries to club the following sharks to death. He makes it home with the skeleton of the fish and heads to bed, resting on the way. He wakes and chills out with the boy. They talk about the extravaganza. He asks for the newspapers. He gives the fish head to Pedrico. He dreams about the lions.