The old man and the sea Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1899, and began his writing career for The Kansas City Star in 1917. During the First World War he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front but was sent home, having been seriously wounded while serving with the infantry. In 1921 Hemingway settled in Paris, where he became part of the expatriate circle of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound. and Ford Madox Ford. With the appearance of The Sun Also Rises in 1926, Hemingway became not only the voice of the lost generation but the pre-eminent writer of his time. This was followed by his novel of the Italian front, A Farewell to Arms (1929). In the 1930s, Hemingway settled in Key West, and later in Cuba, but he travelled widely to Spain, Italy and Africa. Later he reported on the Spanish Civil War, which became the background for his brilliant novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1939), hunted U-boats in the Caribbean and covered the European front during the Second World War. Hemingway s most popular work, The Old Man and the Sea, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Literature for his powerful style forming mastery of the art of narration. One of the most important influences on the development of the short story and novel in American fiction, Hemingway has seized the imagination of the American public like no other twentieth-century author. He died, by suicide, in Ketchum, Idaho, in 1961. His other major works include To Have and Have not (1937), Across the River and Into the Trees (1950) and posthumously, A Moveable Feast (1964), Islands in the Stream (1970), The Dangerous Summer (1985) and The Garden of Eden (1986). An old man fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream, but he had gone eighty-four days without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had always been with him. But after that the boy s parents had told him to go with another boat which was luckier. The boy was very sad about it but he had to obey. Every evening he went to the old man to help him carry the lines or the harpoon. The boy called Manolin also made sure that the old man had something to eat and to drink.

When the old man woke up, he dressed and went to wake the boy. Afterwards they walked down the road carrying the masts of their boat. They lifted the skiff and slid it into the water.

On the day of his biggest catch the old man rowed alone for hours. The sun began to rise and the water was dark and blue. Suddenly he felt a strong pull and he remarked that a huge fish was hanging on the line. The heaviest and biggest fish he had ever seen was caught. The old man held the line against his back but the fish was so strong that he pulled the whole boat steadily away. The next day and the whole night the old man did not dare to sleep. His hands were stiff and hurt from holding the line but he did not give up. In a big fight the old man was able to kill the huge fish and he bound him alongside with a rope.

When sailing homewards ...

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