Essay on Old Man in the Sea

Submitted By FrancoDaisy33
Words: 958
Pages: 4

Often people measure the value of life on things they didn’t do as opposed to the things that has/does make them happy. In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Santiago is an aged Cuban fisherman who’s set out to sea and returned empty-handed. Despite his expertise, he has been unable to catch a fish for eighty-four days. Throughout his life he is set with many hardships, from loosing his wife to having bad luck in his fishing sprees. Yet despite of his burdens, his life is still considered worthwhile for he’s won a man in arm wrestling, caught the Marlin fish, and has a friend that he can talk to.
Like any other human being, Santiago has won in a game/match, in this case, a wrestling match. Though winning in a wrestling match may be typical for a man, Santiago didn’t win in any typical match; in fact the uniqueness of the match is what contributes to one of the many reasons for his life to be worthwhile. It is evident on page 69 that Santiago’s match was extraordinary when the narrator describes how, “Blood came out from under the fingernails of both his and the negro’s hands”. This demonstrates not only Santiago’s perseverance, but it also displays the difficulty of the match and how Santiago endures himself in it. Despite the blood Santiago had coming out of his hand, he never let go, nonetheless had the urgency to give up. It’s because of this that in page 70 Santiago, “..forced the hand of the negro down and down until it rested on the wood”. This shows Santiago’s dedication to himself because anyone could have easily given up, but instead he pulled through and wrestled the Negro for a full day (Sunday morning through Monday morning) and won. His joyous moment of winning not only validates the importance of his life but it displays his personal standards, which in this case are high. Yet aside from his victorious win, Santiago’s life is also significant because of his great catch.
Days after his eighty-fifth day of unlucky streaks, Santiago catches the biggest fish he’s ever caught. However, before he was able to catch the fish, also known as the Marlin fish, he endured 3 days of exhaustion and pain. According to the narrator on page 87, as Santiago was fishing for the Marlin he said, “’I could not fail myself and die on a fish like this.’” This indicates the determination he had to catch the fish regardless of the pain he was feeling. To Santiago, failing to catch this fish was not an option, for it was too much of an honorable fish. Nevertheless, with determination Santiago finally makes his hard work valuable. At last the narrator asserts Santiago’s accomplishment on page 95 when the he says, “‘ I am a tired old man. But I have killed this fish which is my brother..’”. This illustrates Santiago’s hard work as worthy, whereas it fulfilled not only his dream, but also the dream of other fisherman to catch an eighteen-foot Marlin fish. Like the Marlin, Santiago’s diligence proved the quality of his character. It’s because of his accomplishment that demonstrates that Santiago has merit. Not many fishermen can proudly say that they’ve spent 3 entire days catching a Marlin as big as that. Aside from his victorious win however, Santiago’s life is also significant because of his one and only friend named Manolin.
Manolin is generally the one and only friend who’s been there and cared for Santiago. In spite of the age difference and Manolins father orders to abandon