Old Man by the Sea by Ernest Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1375 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Other

¶ … Old Man by the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is the story of a rejected and failing fisherman, Santiago, and the young boy who believes in him, Manolin. Through the interactions of these characters and Santiago's personal struggle, Hemingway makes important points about people and life, ultimately delivering a positive message about the ability of every person to fight their own personal struggles and win.

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The relationship between Santiago and Manolin is important to the Old Man and the Sea, and it is observed that there is a strong bond between the two. Santiago is the failing fisherman that has been rejected by everyone else. To him, Manolin is his only friend. Manolin himself is not rejected and he has other people in his life, but Santiago remains very special to him. This makes the Old Man and the Sea partly the story of a strong character seeing more than everyone else does and remaining devoted to a person everyone else sees as an outcast. Manolin has the unique ability to see beyond appearances and other people's perceptions and to form his own view. At one point Manolin says to Santiago, "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only one you" (Hemingway 23). This statement is open to interpretation. It can be considered as showing that Manolin recognizes Santiago as a great fisherman. It can be considered as Manolin saying what Santiago wants to hear. However, it is most likely that Manolin is showing that he admires Santiago not because of his fishing ability, but simply because he is who he is. It is also important to note that this statement is made despite Manolin being aware that Santiago hasn't caught a fish for over 80 days. This supports the idea that Manolin is able to see beyond perceptions of people. In short, he is able to refrain from judging Santiago and likes him simply because he is who he is.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Old Man by the Sea by Ernest Assignment

The relationship between the two though, is more than just friendship. There is something that Manolin admires in Santiago that he does not find in others. This is clear where Manolin states that he wants to keep going with Santiago and only goes out with other fishermen because his parents have made him. It is noted that the other fishermen are more successful at catching fish than Santiago is, so there is something more significant for Manolin. The thing that Manolin sees and admires in Santiago seems to be his ability to believe and to try, regardless of the results. Shwartz says of the Old Man and the Sea,

Hemingway's primary sense of existence is the essential condition of the pioneer. It is above all the terror and isolation of the pioneer in the forest that Hemingway seeks in his prize fighters, matadors, soldiers, and expatriate sportsmen (Shwartz 84).

For Shwartz, Manolin is important because he is a pioneer and his value as a character is related to his stamina. While the general population in the story reject Santiago because he has not succeeded, they are missing the significance of the fact that he is continuing to try despite his continual failing. It is this quality that Manolin alone seems to recognize. When he says, "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only one you" (Hemingway 23), Manolin is essentially saying that Santiago is more impressive regardless of his ability to catch fish because he continues to try. It is also worth noting that Manolin has these same qualities himself. His loyalty to Santiago is his way of showing stamina. Indeed, he remains devoted to Santiago until the end of the novel and even declares that they will fish together after Santiago appears to have given up. This shows that what Manolin admires in Santiago is also something he has himself. In the context of the novel, it seems that the two share a rare gift. At the same time, it is one that society doesn't recognize, with the general society focusing more on succeeding than considering how a person responds when they do fail.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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