The Old Man and the Sea is Hemingway’s story about an old man, Santiago, fighting an 18-foot marlin for 3 days and 3 nights. He was wounded on his back and his hands bled before finally overcoming the fish. He strapped it to the side of the boat because it was too big to pull inside. And then the sharks came and ate the whole thing. But he conquered the fish, didn’t he!
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.”
– Ernest Hemingway, opening line of The Old Man and the Sea, (1952)
“‘The fish is my friend too,’ he said aloud. ‘I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I’m glad we do not have to kill the stars.'”
– The old man Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea
“No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in. I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things.”
– Ernest Hemingway, speaking of The Old Man and the Sea,
for which he won the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature