Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is the tale of an old fisherman who struggles to do what fishermen are meant to do — catch fish. His luck is against him, it seems, and when he finally hooks a fish that would have made the village proud, he loses it to ruthless sharks.
Despite the religious symbolism (among other things) that has been attributed to the story, Hemingway’s novella is, at heart, a simple fable — a statement of facts you might say. While in real life facts may be hidden from view, in this fictional world, they stand out in plain view, naked and unforgiving. It is the simplicity that makes the greatest impression on the reader — when the author says, “The Sun rose in the East today -” one is forced to look for metaphors, like a Roscharch test of literature. What did he mean by that? Is that all there is to it?
With lessons of endurance and a dab of innocence, The Old Man and the Sea is a refreshingly beautiful Sunday afternoon read.