The Cuban Context of The Old Man and the Sea
Argues for a close reading of narrative detail to reconstruct the novella’s cultural context and thus better understand the plot and its multi-layered meanings. Advises scholars to look to a Cuban explanation of puzzling details before leaping to symbolic interpretations. Provides important information on topics such as turtle hunting, the Virgin of Cobre, baseball, and New Testament Gospels. Aims to set the record straight, citing historical and topical detail, regarding the protracted debate over Manolin’s age. Establishes his age at twenty-two, far older than most scholars and readers have assumed.