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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea: Santiago

Throughout Hemingway's classic novella, the old man, given the name Santiago because of his apparent Cuban background, faces countless troubles and hardships through physical, mental, and spiritual scenarios. A simple fisherman, Santiago goes out onto the rough and grueling seas to break his eighty-four-day drought of unluck and no fish. He feels eighty-five could be his lucky number as he ventures out of the safety of the dock on the first day in hopes of finding the biggest and baddest fish in the ocean - the catch of his lifetime. As he heads out, he notices the other fishermen staying closer to shore and thinks to himself about how he will do so much better going out farther to find the big fish. Unfortunately, he might have gone a bit too far as he quickly finds himself in a fight with a monster of a marlin. As the struggle continues, he thinks about his friend back home, Manolin, who is a young yet passionate and avid fisherman, and how marvelous it would be if he could bring home his catch. During his endeavor, the thought of Manolin waiting for him gave Santiago the heart and will to pull through and just give at least a little more effort. For entertainment, he dreams of how his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, have been doing, especially with their star player, Joe DiMaggio. He loves baseball and listening to the box scores on the radio or reading about how the teams are doing in the newspaper. Also, Santiago uses the marlin as not only an adversary, but as a respected friend. He talks not only to the fish but somehow talks with the fish. Obviously, marlins or any other kind of fish cannot talk to most people, but because of his high respect for the fish, he gives it its own sort of voice to have a friend out on the ocean. Insanity would certainly take over the body without something to occupy the mind, not only in Santiago but in anyone.

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