Comparing the Film and the Novel of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea After having read the Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" as a book in
class, we also watched the film which was made afterwards because of
the story's enormous popularity. As always, there are some ways in
which the book differs from the film as well as the fact that they
have several things in common.
Taking into consideration that this novel was Hemingway's last
desperate attempt at breaking through after all his previous
narratives flopped I thought that the film might be different from the
movie indeed because he might've wanted to bring the story into
perfection in this way. Also I assumed it to be very boring to spend a
whole film showing how one single man overcomes his mental and
physical problems and eventually manages to catch a huge marlin and
take it home; thus that there were other, new events involved for more
variety and that things which were pushed into the background in the
book now were more striking fore extra depth. For example, a new role,
flashbacks and different storylines would make the film more
From these suggested improvements you can conclude that I consider the
book to be a bit longwinded because there are actually very few events
taking place: the long fight against the marlin before it dies and
then the numerous shark attacks to the fish which the old man can't
avert. Anyhow, at mental point there's a lot to enjoy: every time when
Santiago faces a new problem to cope with he thinks of lions on the
beach (which represent him when he is young and strong and could
overcome any challenge), the great softball player Di-Maggio in whom
he has faith (he wants to be just as strong as him) or about the young
boy (Manolin) in his home-village (he wants him to be with him so he
can help). All those memories of his youth, idol and helper make the
story more interesting because in this way you get an idea of his
norms and values and what his life now and in the past looked like.
This corresponds to Hemingway's life, so he represents Santiago. His
norms and values are compared to the sea: in a struggle, nature will
always win. Thus the message "don't give up" is characterised by faith
and bravery. Those trains of thought, though not essential for the
story, make it gripping.
So what do we expect from the film?
· More depth in the story and events through an extra role, flashbacks
or different storylines.
· Making the story less longwinded by bringing in more physical
· The general storyline with Santiago's thoughts, norms, values and
struggles and how he overcomes them to be a...