The Old Man and The Sea

This essay has a total of 1009 words and 4 pages.

The Old Man and The Sea



"The Old Man and the Sea" is a heroic tale of man's strength pitted against forces he
cannot control. It is a story about an old Cuban fisherman and his three-day battle with
a giant Marlin. Through the use of three prominent themes; friendship, bravery, and
Christianity; the "Old Man and the Sea" strives to teach important life lessons to the
reader while also epitomizing Santiago, the old fisherman, as a Hemingway code hero.

The relationship between Santiago and the boy is introduced early in the story. They are
unlikely companions; one is old and the other young, yet they share an insuperable amount
of respect and loyalty for each other. Santiago does not treat Manolin as a young boy but
rather as an equal. Age is not a factor in their relationship. Manolin does not even act
as a young boy; he is mature and sensitive to Santiago's feelings. He even offers to
disobey his parents and accompany Santiago on his fishing trips. Santiago is viewed as an
outcast in his village because he has not caught any fish for more than eighty-four days
and is therefore "unlucky". Nonetheless Manolin is loyal to Santiago and even when his
parents forbid him he wants to help his friend. Their conversations are comfortable, like
that of two friends who have known each other for a long time. When they speak it is
usually about baseball or fishing, the two things they have most in common. Their
favorite team is the Yankees and Santiago never loses faith in them even when the star
player, Joe DiMaggio is injured with a heel spur. In this way Santiago not only teaches
Manolin about fishing but also about important characteristics such as faith.

In the story Santiago's bravery is unsurpassed but it is not until he hooks the "great
fish" that we truly see his valor and perseverance. Through Santiago's actions Hemingway
teaches the reader about bravery and tenacity in the face of adversity. He demonstrates
that even when all is lost and seems hopeless a faith and willful heart will overcome
anything. Santiago had lost his "luckiness" and therefore the respect of his village.
Through the description of his cabin we also suspect that Santiago is a widower. Although
Santiago has had many troubles he perseveres. He has faith in Manolin, in the Yankees, in
Joe DiMaggio, and most importantly in himself. This is perhaps his greatest attribute
because without it he would never have had the strength to persevere and defeat the giant
Marlin.

Faith is not the only thing that drives his perseverance. Santiago also draws upon his
past victories for strength. After he hooks the Marlin he frequently recalls his battle
with a native in what he calls "the hand game". It is not just an arm wrestling victory
for him it is a reminder of his youthful days. His recollections of this event usually
proceed a favorite dream of his in which he sees many lions on a peaceful shore. These
lions represent him when he is young and strong and could overcome any challenge.
Although he is an old man and his body is no longer like it used to be his heart is still
great and he eventually defeats the Marlin. Santiago's perseverance and bravery are
further illustrated when he tries to fight off the sharks. He was a fisherman all his
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