Discuss the character of Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea



Santiago, the symbol of hope, strong will, resolution, virility and courage, is "the best fisherman". Though, he has been unable to catch a fish for eighty four days, yet he goes for fishing because "every day is a new day". He is an old man with lean body and deep wrinkles on his face. He is too poor. Often, he has to go hungry but we never see him complaining. He is alone though an old apprentice of his, Manolin, does help him with his work of carrying the lines etc. Santiago is a traditional fisherman. He is respected by the old fishermen about.

The new groups of fishermen that catch fish with the help of nets and have motorboats don't understand the art of fishing. They dislike Santiago and make fun of him. However, Santiago does not care about their opinion. He is too deeply lost in his own world of fishing, reading baseball news, thinking of lions and his old laurels that remind him of his youth. Manolin is also reminiscent of his lost youth and energy.

Santiago appears to be the spirit of struggle and hope in the dying circumstances when defeat is certain for the old man. The way he hooks the big marlin seems no less than a miracle because no other fisherman would even think of staying against such a big fish in even less deeper waters than those where Santiago fought for his supremacy over the might of nature.




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