What is the introduction in The Old Man and the Sea?

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The story of The Old Man and the Sea begins by giving us the setting. Santiago fishes alone in the Gulf Stream and has been very unsuccessful for the past 84 days. The fact that we are given a specific number shows us that he has been counting. Manolin was...

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The story of The Old Man and the Sea begins by giving us the setting. Santiago fishes alone in the Gulf Stream and has been very unsuccessful for the past 84 days. The fact that we are given a specific number shows us that he has been counting. Manolin was fishing with him until day 40, when his parents ordered him to switch boats because they deemed Santiago unlucky, or salao. It describes Santiago as a tanned, weathered old man with cheerful eyes. Manolin reaffirms his faith in Santiago, and assures him that he would rather be fishing with him.

The two of them go to the Terrace where the other fishermen are to have a beer and talk. Some react respectfully to Santiago, while others make fun of him. Manolin relives some old memories of fishing with Santiago when he was five years old. Manolin helps Santiago carry the gear, and they go to the old man's home and discuss baseball. Later, Manolin will return to bring Santiago dinner. Since Santiago has not caught any fish in 84 days, he cannot afford to eat, but Manolin helps him out with respect and sensitivity.

The beginning of the book focuses on Santiago and Manolin's close relationship, and their caring for one another. It also explains and emphasizes the need for Santiago to catch a fish, not only to support himself, but also to restore his pride in his own abilities and his reputation among the other fishermen.

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