In the pretty end of Hemingway's story 'The Old Man and The Sea', was the fish all eaten by sharks? Did Santiago have his own share?


1 Answer 1


The sharks ate almost all of it, leaving only the skeleton, head, and tail.

Excerpt from the text (emphasis mine):

One came, finally, against the head itself and he knew that it was over. He swung the tiller across the shark’s head where the jaws were caught in the heaviness of the fish’s head which would not tear. He swung it once and twice and again. He heard the tiller break and he lunged at the shark with the splintered butt. He felt it go in and knowing it was sharp he drove it in again. The shark let go and rolled away. That was the last shark of the pack that came. There was nothing more for them to eat.


He stopped for a moment and looked back and saw in the reflection from the street light the great tail of the fish standing up well behind the skiff’s stern. He saw the white naked line of his backbone and the dark mass of the head with the projecting bill and all the nakedness between.

Arguably, the fish head contains some meat, but the point is that the main prize was lost.

  • Thank you! I was thrilled after completing the book with complete understanding. :)
    – ClaudiaSTP
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 12:34
  • @ClaudiaSTP: If you feel I answered your question, you can accept it by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 13:06

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