The Old Man and the Sea Part V Summary

     The old man wished he had a stone with him to sharpen his knife, but he did not. When the next shovel-nosed shark appeared, the old man drove his knife into its brain, but the shark turned as the man tried to remove the blade and snapped it in half before he disappeared. The old man still had the two oars, the tiller, and a short club, but he knew he was at a strong disadvantage now. He still could not see the land.

     Just before sunset two more sharks came straight at the boat. The old man took the club, which was a broken oar and hit the first shark squarely on the head when he went for a bite. He hit him a second time across the nose before he fell. When the second one came up for a bite, he began to hit him. It took several smacks before the shark stopped eating. His tremendous catch was down to about half its size. It was beginning to get dark, and he hoped to see the glow of Havana soon.

     Once again the old man began talking to himself, asking for luck, hoping he would make it to the shore with what was left of his catch. He was stiff and sore and prayed he wouldn't have to fight off any more fish. Around midnight a pack of them arrived, and he couldn't see, but he clubbed around the boat until one of them tore his club away. He ripped the tiller from the rudder and continued to swing at what he could not see. One of the sharks received a firm smack on the head, but his death came too late. Nothing remained of his great catch.

     The old man sat back with a strange taste in his mouth. He put the tiller back well enough so that he could continue to steer as sharks continued to pick at the empty carcass while he headed back to shore. When he reached shore, it was very late, and no one was there to help him. He realized just how tired he was while he attempted to bring his mast and sail home, having to stop often to rest.

     The boy came in the next morning to check on the old man because the weather was too rough for fishing. He cried when he saw the old man's hands and went to fetch him some coffee. One of the fisherman had measured the skeleton still attached to the skiff and yelled to the boy that it was eighteen feet long. When the man finally awoke, the boy gave him the coffee and asked what they should do with the remains. The old man said they could use the head for bait, and the boy could keep the tail. The boy told him that the coast guard tried looking for the old man but couldn't find him. The boy caught four fish while the old man was gone, but he wanted to resume fishing with the old man again. The weather would likely stay bad for three days, so the boy told the old man to rest and heal. He would bring him some food and newspapers from the last few days. The old man fell asleep again and dreamed of lions.

Related Links:

The Old Man and the Sea Part V Quiz
The Old Man and the Sea Part I Summary
The Old Man and the Sea Part II Summary
The Old Man and the Sea Summary
The Old Man and the Sea Quotes
The Old Man and the Sea Important Characters
The Old Man and the Sea Quiz
Literature Summaries
Ernest Hemingway Facts

To link to this The Old Man and the Sea Part V Summary page, copy the following code to your site: