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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Old Man and the Sea: Santiago's Pride

Santiago has a tremendous amount of pride within himself, for the fish, and for the boy back home on the land. His own pride for himself includes his will to keep fighting even when everything in his future looks growingly bleak, and he is proud of himself for having the stamina and endurance through it all. As the struggle between man and fish burns on into the second, third, and fourth days, Santiago almost never thinks about giving in to the seemingly everlasting power of the marlin. The fish pulls and pulls, but the old, weary man holds firm, even with exhaustion, muscle cramps, fatigue, and the urge for good sleep looming above his head. Beside the love for Manolin and keeping his mind up with separate thoughts, his pride is almost entirely what keeps him above water, literally, in the sense that the fish could pull him down under the water in any sudden burst of energy. He is proud of his body for being able to keep up with the marlin for so long; he is proud to know that this fish must be the worthy adversary he has longed for for so many days; he is proud to think that there is a boy back home that is eagerly awaiting his return. His pride also allows him to continue, knowing that there are only two possible outcomes to the battle: winning and having the glory of a lifetime, or losing and succumbing to the strength of the fish and, very likely, death. He is also extremely proud of the fish because it is showing the same amounts of strength as the old man to pull the boat as far as it has. Santiago knows it must be a huge fish because of his inability to gain any sort of ground on the marlin. He is proud of himself for knowing how far out he must go to hook such a large fish. Finally, his pride extends into the boat for holding itself intact for such a long period.

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