17 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015 Last revised: 3 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 1, 2019
The Old Man and the Sea is a timeless classic. One of Ernest Hemingway’s most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago--a poor, proud, old Cuban fisherman--and his solitary struggle against the forces of nature in the deep Gulf Stream waters many miles off the coast of Havana. But who is Santiago, really? Artists have re-imagined the old man countless times since the novella’s publication in 1952, and so shall I. First, I shall survey several of my favorite artistic portraits of Santiago. Next, I will piece together the actual origins of Hemingway’s immortal anti-hero. Lastly, I will offer up my own scholarly re-interpretation of Santiago’s epic struggle by exploring the inner workings of the old man’s mind through a probabilistic or Bayesian lens.
Keywords: Bayes’ Rule, Hemingway, Santiago, Subjective Probability, The Old Man and the Sea
JEL Classification: B49, D81, Q22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation