Like seemingly many classics, I missed reading this in high school. Honestly, I’m glad I did, though not right away. I took me a time to realize that I wasn’t disappointed in the book, but disapointed for Santiago, the old man. That’s when I realized just how much I appreciated this sad and beauitful book.
He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.
What I’m left with is a deep sense of affection and respect for the Old Man. I admire his confounding persistence and will power in the face of defeat. I think what surprised me most was how much I admired his respect for the fish. It’s a deeply paradoxical relationship. To respect something so much while also trying to destroy it.
You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother. Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who.
This is my first taste of Hemingway, and I’m glad I read it. I look forward to reading him again.