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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea: Days One and Two

So, there is this man named Santiago, an old fisherman who has, to his unluck, gone straight through the last eighty-four days without catching any fish. For the first forty days of this fishless drought, Santiago had received friendship, compassion, and, most of all, a great deal of help from a young boy, Manolin. Manolin's father, after hearing about the terrible fishing his son is having with this old man, forces Manolin off of Santiago's boat and onto a new boat in hopes of better, more prosperous fishing. Even without his young apprentice, Santiago's love for fishing remains steadfast as he pushes on in search of the break he has been waiting for for so many days. In the evening of the first day of the story, the pair of men are walking home from the beach with all the day's fishing gear when they stop by a cantina, of sorts, to have a beer. Together, they remember previous days of fishing side by side, and the old man is made fun of for going so long without any luck. He shrugs it off and proclaims that the following day will be the day to go out and get the big fish. They haul the gear back to Santiago's house, which is run-down and furnished poorly, and start their daily ritual of trivial conversation and repeated actions. After a quick dinner - a gift from the cafe owner - Manolin returns home, and the tired, old man goes to sleep where he dreams his favorite dreams of lions playing on the beach of Africa. Before sunrise of the second day, Santiago walks to Manolin's house to wake the boy, and the two gather fishing supplies and head down to the shore. The man and boy part ways, and Santiago heads out on his boat to find the big fish. His years of practice have left him with the ability to control the depths of his lines and position without letting the bobbers tip over. As the sun comes up, the old man realizes he has drifted out too far, and now he cannot even see land. Suddenly, the bobber attached to the 100-fathom line dips as the marlin becomes more and more interested. The wise man is sure it must be a big one. Just as quickly as the first touch happened, Santiago finds himself with a bite. Oddly, the man is unable to pull on the fish; instead, it pulls him. By the end of the first day, Santiago has been fighting the fish since noon and has been dragged over much distandce by the fish, and he is wishing for the boy's help.

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