The Old Man in The Sea starts a fisherman who has not caught a fish in 84 days. There is also a boy that the old man taught him how to fish and is a close friends with him, at the point that he brings food to the old man.
So this old man goes to sleep dreaming of the lions he used to see back in the day in Africa. He wakes before sunrise and does what fishermen do—get in his boat and head out to fish.
Suddenly out of nowhere the old man catches a huge fish called Marlin fish. The old man sees the fish as his brother, not his enemy, yet he never wavers in his resolution to kill the thing.
But this is no happy ending. It’s just a happy mid-point followed by an extraordinarily sad ending. The old man straps the fish to the side of the boat and heads home.
On the way, he is attacked by sharks, who slowly but surely eat away at the marlin while the old man, starving and exhausted, tries to beat them off with a harpoon, a club, and finally nothing but a simple knife.
By the time he makes it back to shore, there is nothing left of the fish but a skeleton. The old man goes to sleep and dreams of the same lions of his youth