The Old Man is a unique character that was created by Ernest Hemingway within a small but impressive novel. The writer only used fifty pages to describe an old fisherman named Santiago, his understanding of life around him, his attitude towards certain problems, and the ability to fight destiny no matter what.
Santiago was not described as an outstanding person. His appearance was quite ordinary, as he looked very much like other Cuban anglers. The man had many wrinkles, he was old, and the sun did not spare his skin. However, his eyes were “cheerful and undefeated”. There was something special about them, and they had the same color as the sea. He was part of the nature around him and felt like the world was a good place to be in.
The Old Man swam in the sea by taking out his boat. Nothing happened for a while, but he demonstrated faith and positive attitude. The fisherman appreciated everything that surrounded him; it seemed that despair was not something he could experience. Even when he fought the sharks that tried to take his big fish away, he did not feel hopeless.
It was amazing to observe Santiago’s respect for every creature he saw and thought about. The novel did not provide numerous dialogues, but rather simply provided Santiago’s monologue to the rest of the world. He treated his prey and the sea as living beings who deserved respect. The Old Man was lonely; he did not ask for help and refused to borrow. This independence was remarkable, even though the man was old and obviously needed some help.
Santiago did not have close friends. The only person he talked to, and whose help he appreciated, was a small boy. The boy’s name was Manolin, and his parents did not allow him to fish with a companion like the Old Man. Unlike many other fishermen, Santiago wanted to catch a big fish to be able to feed many people. However, he was as poor as most of the other dwellers in the village, and had to catch easily attainable fish to survive.
The Old Man showed his strength and tried to hide his loneliness. Hemingway described a strong person who faced a challenge, failed, but had faith to try again. The author points out that these good qualities are not enough to have a happy life. Unfortunately, he proved this statement true.
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