He is an old fisherman in Cuba who, at the beginning of the book, has not caught anything for eighty-four days. He knows how to rely on the transcendent power of his own imagination to engender the inspiration and confidence he needs and to keep alive in himself and others the hope, dreams, faith, absorption, and resolution to transcend hardship. The Sharks Santiago considers the sharks base predators, not worthy of glory. He remains dedicated to a profession he sees as a more spiritual way of life and a part of nature's order in the eternal cycle that makes all creatures brothers in their common condition of both predator and prey. .
Later, when he sees the first shark he lets out a sound that is described as, 'a noise such as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hands and into the wood. He says, ''Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive. He was a native of Illinois who traveled a great deal and often lived abroad in places like France and Cuba. He has had streaks of bad luck in the past, and he is hopeful that the next day will bring him better luck. Determined to wear this marlin out by playing a very strategic game of tug-of-war, Santiago engages in a battle with the fish that lasts two days and two nights. Despite this loss, Santiago ends the novel with his spirit undefeated.
The old man first took him out on a boat when he was merely five years old. Despite his age and the fact that he has gone almost three months without catching a fish, Santiago continues to go out on the water by himself and do what he's done his entire life. And he doesn't do this to impress anyone. When things do not go his way, he does not blame outside sources, but looks for the cause within himself. Well, that's what Santiago dreams of again as the book ends.
The old man lets the current take him, but he fears that sharks will sniff out the blood of the dying fish, which they do. Manolin still helps Santiago before and after he fishes, despite no longer being allowed to fish with him. In these desires, he reflects the desires of us all. This may seem random right now, but it's actually significant and we'll come back to it. As a fan of the Yankees and of 'the great DiMaggio', whose father was a fisherman, Santiago likes talking about baseball with Manolin. When Santiago finally sees the marlin, he is described as purple and silver in color, striped, and weighing over 1,500 pounds. The marlin - the fish that the old man catches measuring eighteen feet long.
Santiago humbly accepts these gifts and enjoys talking with the boy. Too weak and exhausted to deal with the remains, he leaves the fish skeleton by the boat and slowly carries the boat's mast back up the hill to his little shack where he falls asleep. At the start of the novel, he has gone 84 days without catching a fish, and come to be considered unlucky. Santiago is humble in his dealings with others, yet takes great pride in his work and himself, and is frustrated and embarrassed by his failures. He was a center fielder for the New York Yankees from 1936 to 1951, and is often considered the best all-around player ever at that position.
Thankfully, Santiago wins the man vs. On the Old Man's 85th day out, he finally hooks a huge , which he then tries to bring in and haul in from far out from shore. Although he loses the marlin to sharks, the entire struggle constitutes a spiritual triumph in which Santiago emerges as a Christ figure. It received a great deal of praise from critics and became a bestseller. Also credit for providing a musical score that virtually puts Mr. He fights the need for sleep and his fatigue of constantly keeping hold of the line before the fish finally starts to circle the boat.
Ultimately, the marlin is presented as Santiago's worthy opponent. He will no longer be the failing fisherman but the victor of his village. When he wakes up his reputation is given new life, and he is honored for facing death while at sea. In the process, by refusing to give in to the fish or the weakness of his mind and body, Santiago transcends those weaknesses. But then he feels something take the club. At the end of the novel, Manolin resolves to fish with Santiago again regardless of what his family says.
Gingerly, he allows the line out in order to let the fish swallow the hook more deeply before he tugs to secure it. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all of the skiff. When he was younger, he would arm wrestle for sport and always win. When the captured marlin is later destroyed by sharks, Santiago feels destroyed as well. He uses this weapon on the next shark to arrive, but unfortunately, the knife breaks when he goes to remove it from the shark's skull. As a boy, Manolin is Santiago's apprentice and devoted attendant.