Illustration of a marlin in the water

The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

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Day 5 Summary

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As he had come each morning since Santiago left, the boy comes to the old man’s home this morning. The weather is not good for fishing, so Manolin is free to spend his time with his mentor and friend. Santiago is sleeping, but the boy sees his mangled hands and cries as he goes to get him some coffee. As he passes the skiff, he sees a group of fishermen gathered around the carcass. One man is actually in the water measuring it: eighteen feet. They ask Manolin how Santiago is, and the boy says he is sleeping and must not be disturbed. The owner of the Terrace prepares some hot coffee for Manolin to take to the old man, and he praises Santiago’s amazing fish and congratulates the boy on his two fish caught yesterday. Manolin is angry at the praise for his fish. The owner of the Terrace sends his regrets to the old man.

Manolin keeps vigil near the old man, leaving only to find wood to build a small fire to reheat the coffee. Santiago’s first words are “They beat me.” The boy reminds him that the fish did not defeat him, even if the sharks did. Santiago decides the head is to be cut up and used as baits, and the boy wants to keep the sword. Manolin tells the old man that the coast guard and others had looked for him. Manolin says he will now be fishing with him again. He has luck and will bring it with him, and he still has much to learn. They will bring a sharpened lance with them from now on, but Santiago must heal his hands. Santiago says he also has a strange cough. The boy says he must heal that as well, for Santiago can teach him everything. As he goes to get some clothes, some food, a newspaper, and some salve for the old man’s hands, Manolin is still crying.

Later that afternoon, tourists at the Terrace see a great skeleton with a glorious tail floating in the debris near the rocks. They ask the waiter what it is, and he tries to explain what happened and tells them sharks. They misunderstand and say they did not know sharks were so beautiful. Meanwhile, the old man sleeps on his face as the young boy sits next to him. Santiago is dreaming of lions.

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Day 4 Summary