The Old Man and The Sea: Analysis of Santiago

Ross Mueller Mr. Harocopos AP. English 11 29 September 1996


Ernest Hemingway had a specific type of character in each and every one
of his works of literature. These characters were called the Hemingway Code
Heroes. Hemingway Code Heros followed a strict code of behaviors which allowed
them to live their life to the fullest. These Heros lived simple lives without
all the luxuries that others had. They concentrate on the problem at hand and do
not get swayed by outside events. Avoiding intense personal relationships allows
the Hero to stay focused. In The Old Man And The Sea, Santiago is considered the
Hemingway Code Hero for many reasons.
Santiago lived an extremely simple life, the life of a fisherman.
Although sometimes he wished for some of the modern conveniences others had, he
was able to do without them. Other fishermen had radios to pass the time while
all Santiago had were his thoughts and sometimes the boy. The old man asked for
the help of no one, for he did fine without the others. Santiago learned how to
make due with the supplies that he had. On the boat while he is battling the
mighty fish, he is able to deal with limited food and drink. He realizes he may
be out at sea for a long time, so he rationalizes his supplies. Santiago copes
with what he has. The sail on his boat is torn and tattered, consisting of
countless rags stitched together. Although a nicer sail would have been nice he
knew that he could get by with the one he has.
Santiago displayed a great deal of grace while under the pressure of
catching his great adversary. While battling the marlin he always keeps his eye
on the goal, and figures out new ways to get through the tight spots. Even when
it seem that all hope is lost, he continues to persevere, so he may achieve his
goal. When he is out at sea his hands cramp, and it looks as if he has to give
up the fish, but he decides to stick with it in a hope that he may strive
through the area of difficulty. His hands finally free up and he continues on
his mission, just glad that he did not give up. Sharks attack the marlin on his
voyage back to his small town, he works his hardest to keep them away. Santiago
finds unique ways to keep them away. He makes a spear out of his knife, a paddle,
and some cloth. When that breaks, he then uses the other paddle as a club to
beat the sharks away. When food is low, the old man figures out ways to get
more without losing his marlin. He sets up another rig while still concentrating
on the task at hand.
Santiago\'s relationships with others never go into deep personal
information, they always stay friendly and never get intimate. His relationship
with the boy is one of great importance in The Old Man And The Sea. Their
relationship is a great friendship which has grown over years. The old man was
the first person to ever go fishing with the boy. He was a teacher to Manolin,
and showed him everything he knew. The boy would occasionally bring the old man
food when he returned if he had not caught anything that day. Santiago read to
the boy about baseball. Manolin enjoyed this immensely. He enjoyed being in the
old man\'s company for he cared for this man because he was always kind to him.
The boy prepared the old man\'s bait some of the time. They both offered each
other the best of company. While out at sea Santiago is constantlywishing the
boy was there to talk to or to help with the mighty fish. Santiago does not have
relationships with any of the other fishermen, outside of polite conversation.
His perseverence to catch his prey implicates the importance of his relationship
with it.
Santiago\'s humility in The Old Man And The Sea should be an example for
all to follow. He fishes to be a fisherman. His goal was not to catch a huge
fish. It was to fish and try to catch a fish of any size. He did not pride
himself on catching the fish. He did not go running to tell the other fishermen
of the town about it, he just went home and fell asleep. Landing the fish did
not matter to the old man only to get it as