Santiago is an old man and a fisherman who has gone for months without catching a fish. Many are starting to doubt his abilities as an angler. Even his apprentice, Manolin, has abandoned him and gone to work for a more prosperous boat. The old man sets out to the open sea one day — off the Florida coast — and goes a little farther out than he normally would in his desperation to catch a fish. Sure enough, at noon, a big marlin takes hold of one of the lines, but the fish is far too big for Santiago to handle.
To avoid letting the fish escape, Santiago lets the line go slack so that the fish won’t break his pole; but he and his boat are dragged out to sea for three days.
A kind of kinship and honor develop between the fish and the man. Finally, the fish — an enormous and worthy opponent — grows tired, and Santiago kills it. This victory does not end Santiago’s journey; he is a still far out to sea. Santiago has to drag the marlin behind the boat, and the blood from the dead fish attracts sharks…
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