“The Old Man and the Sea” – by Earnest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, the author of The Old Man and the Sea, based a lot of his books on his life, friends, and family. I will briefly discuss some of these similarities between his life and his book The Old Man and the Sea.

In the book, The Old Man and the Sea, the old man, Santiago, has excellent eyesight. In most of the story his eyes and eyesight are discussed as being good. In reality, Hemingway had very poor vision. He was even turned down by the US Army due to poor vision.
Hemingway spent part of his life living in Cuba. He loved to fish off the coast in his boat named the Pilar. Hemingway later left Cuba and the Cuban government turned his estate into a museum. Santiago also lived in Havana, Cuba in the book.

Hemingway had a special place he liked to go to and talk to others about fish and fishing stories. This place was called Sloppy Joe’s. Sloppy Joe’s was owned by Joe Russell. In The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago and others also had a similar meeting place. Santiago’s meeting place was the terrace.

Hemingway also lived in Key West and would take frequent fishing trips to Cuba with Joe “Josie” Russell, a good friend and the owner of Sloppy Joe’s. While on one of these trips he met a man named Carlos Gutierrez. Carlos had been a marlin fisherman for nearly forty years. Hemingway thought that Carlos was an excellent storyteller. Today it is believed that Carlos may have been a prototype for Santiago, who also was a great marlin fisherman and a great storyteller in the book.

These are just a few connections between Ernest Hemingway and his book. Many authors make similar connections in their books. If you are interested in other connection go to your nearest bookstore or library and search online or get a book on your author’s life and start searching for connections.

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