Old Man and the Sea Section 1 (pg. 9-28)
An old man named Santiago has gone 84 days without catching a fish. During the first 40 days of his unlucky streak, he fished with a young boy named Manolin, who had been with the old man ever since he was five years old. Due to Santiago's bad luck, however, Manolin's parents told their son not to fish with the old man. They forced him to join up with a more lucrative boat, which ended up catching three good-sized fish in its first week.
Santiago is a well-worn man. His face and body show the signs of aging, but inside he is young and alive: "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated." Page 10
After making a comfortable amount of money on the new fishing boat, Manolin tells Santiago that he wants to fish with him again. He feels bad because he never wanted to leave Santiago, his mentor, but had to honor his duty to his parents to earn some money. Santiago knows that the boy is loyal to him and never becomes upset by his decision to leave.
Manolin takes good care of Santiago. He makes sure the old man eats and remains in good health. He tries to give the old man positive encouragement and makes sure his ego is never wounded. Other local fishermen either make fun of or pity Santiago.
Santiago tells the boy that he will go out into the Gulf in his skiff because the current will be strong. Superstitious about numbers, Santiago also believes the 85th day will bring him good luck. Manolin brings the old man some food and asks him to talk about baseball. Santiago loves the New York Yankees because his hero, the great Joe DiMaggio, is on the team. Santiago and the boy talk about other greats in baseball. The boy then tells Santiago that he is the greatest fisherman: "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only one you." Page 23
Manolin flatters Santiago and admires his strength. Santiago concedes that he is not as strong as he once was, but he can catch a great fish due to his resolution and tricks. Manolin puts Santiago to sleep. Santiago has the same dream he has every night. In his dreams, he drifts off to Africa where he spent some time as a child. Santiago's dreams used to be more exciting. However:
"He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women , nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy." Page 25
After waking up, Santiago feels confident about his fishing journey. Manolin sees Santiago off into the Gulf.