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Dear Ernest Hemingway

July 14, 2014



Dear Ernest Hemingway,

I have to say, the only reason I read The Old Man and the Sea was because of my Pre-AP English 10 class assigned it. (It was The Old Man and the Sea or The Secret Life of Bees and I wasn’t about to open that can of worms.) And I must say, I walked away from your book pretty satisfied. I wasn’t really excited or anything, and I didn’t cry at the end. It was just another book I was forced to read.

It wasn’t until I sat down to write an essay on it did I understand completely. I sat down with the laptop, and sat there and sat there. Nothing. Nothing at all. My words sounded forced and didn’t have much meaning. Days passed, and I still had not written something worth my teacher reading. I finally just broke into tears and said to God, “What do you want me to write?”

If you know anything about me, you should know that I’m a struggling perfectionist introvert, scared to make any choice in fear that I’m going to make the wrong one. God, opened my eyes and showed me what to write, by allowing me to see what you were trying to say.

The old man caught the fish and then lost it. He made the wrong choice by chasing after that fish for so long. He wasted his chance of catching other fish. But he had a quest, and he fulfilled it with imperfection! What kind of story is when everything ends up fine and dandy for the protagonist? It’s a fairy tale.

The old man taught me that imperfection is good, it makes for a better story. This whole time, I was just thinking that the old man was just a stupid old man chasing a dream. But instead the old man is me. Except he has life figured out.

I wanted to thank you for the great book, and now I understand why it is such a great book.

(God earns most the credit though, sorry.)


An Imperfect Reader




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