Essay on Isolation: The Old Man and the Sea and Santiago

Submitted By alyssajeanettee
Words: 849
Pages: 4


Everyone experiences isolation at some point in their lives. Isolation however, does not always mean that you are stranded on an island forced to fen for yourself; it can also mean staying at home alone and not going on any social media website of sorts or going on a long drive alone. Santiago experiences isolation when he is at sea, and has lots of time to think about himself and reflect on his life and decisions. We all need time to think about ourselves and what we have done in our life and what we will continue to do or possibly what we are going to stop doing to better ourselves as people. In the novel “The Old Man and the Sea” written by Ernest Hemingway, readers can learn that being alone or isolated from everyone and everything for a while can benefit you because it gives you time to think about yourself and focus on the important parts of your life and yourself; consequentially, we can develop more and make changes where we need to make them.

While nobody is really fond of the idea of isolation or being alone or long periods of time, sometime that is exactly what we need to do. Isolation yourself from people for a while to focus on yourself and reflect on the decisions you’ve made in the past can take a big weight off of your shoulders. Santiago wishes frequently while he is at sea trying to catch his Marlin, that the boy, Manolin were there with him fishing. However, since Santiago was forced to fish alone, he thought about many aspects of his life. Such as how he started fishing, how he was going to get this fish no matter what, and some memories of him fishing in the past. He faces a struggle with the fish, it is bigger than he expected and stronger as well. However, he continues on and uses his strength and mind and knowledge of what to do in situations such as that. When Santiago returns from his adventure to catch the great fish, he seems more at peace with himself even though he physically exerted himself daily. He rested easily, he was almost more content with himself. Manolin helped him with getting places and eating more once he got back we can assume because the boy loves Santiago and looks up to him.

Santiago had the chance, when the fish was not pulling or fighting very strong, to think about himself and what he sees as important about him. Thinking about himself, and what he sees as important can be very beneficial to him in a way of being at peace with yourself and knowing yourself through and through. Although the writer of the story did not elaborate on what he was thinking very much, personally I believe he could’ve been thinking about his wife, his financial situation, or maybe he could have been reflecting on why he never started to play baseball like Joe DiMaggio. While alone on the ocean, Santiago’s thoughts often turn to DiMaggio. To the old man, DiMaggio was a model of strength and commitment, and that could be why his thoughts go to DiMaggio when he needs to reassure himself of his own strength. After the first shark attack, Santiago says to himself, “A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.” which could be him referencing