Marlin in The Old Man and the Sea

  • Character sketch of the Marlin.

Marlin in The old man and the sea:-

Marlin in “The Old Man and the Sea”has very much significance,Marlin gives a charm to this novel. Santiago, the old fisherman, is greatly impressed by the giant fish, marlin. The appearance of the fish is the most thrilling incident of the novel. Santiago is the hero of the novel while the marlin is the hero of the sea. The marlin lives deep in the sea. He is very careful in swallowing something. The marlin is very big fish. It is the bigger than old boat. Indeed it is beautiful and experienced fish.


The old man admires its bravery, dignity and beauty. When Santiago catches a glimpse of it, he is fascinated by its size. The old man is a lover of it. That is why he says;

Santiago has love and respect for it. This becomes clear during his encounter with the marlin in “The Old Man and the Sea” . He kills it because he is a professional fisherman. He is justified in killing the marlin. He kills the fish for his pride and he proves that he is still a champion. He kills to show;

                   “What a man can do and what a man endure.”

He has a great love for the marlin. This is shown during his struggle to save it from the sharks. “I killed him in self-defense. It is also the main justification of killing the marlin.

In short, the marlin not only increases the beauty of the novel but also glorifies the beauty of the sea.

Santiago’s search of fish:-

Santiago’s journey to the sea for fish is a remarkable incident of the novel. Although he never succeeds in his mission yet he continues his efforts. He remains unable to catch the fish for eighty four days. Al last, a day comes when he succeeds in finding a fish. For this fish he moves from place to place. He knows where the fish may be found. Hemingway has well equipped Santiago with different tactics and fishing techniques. Therefore, he never gives up his search for his fish. He says frequently;

                             “I love you and respect you very much,

                             But I will kill you before this day end.”

Santiago’s knowledge of fishing is extremely admirable and surprising. As soon as, he feels a weight on his line, he knows how much it weights and what type of fish that is. His search for fish contains long efforts and courageous struggle which defines human morale. Therefore, he does not lose hearts, but goes on working hard and searching more to achieve his aim. It is though the search that he succeeds in catching the marlin.

In short, Santiago’s search for fish is praise worthy. Apparently, it is the search for the fish but has deeper significanc

The biggest fish is the biggest challenge:-

Santiago’s struggle to catch the marlin, justifies that the biggest fish is the biggest challenge for Santiago. The giant fish, marlin is a symbol of an ideal life for Santiago. Hemingway leaves this to his reader to compare the huge fish marlin with Santiago.

Santiago looks the marlin. He wishes to see him only once that he may know what he has against him. Second, near midnight, he again thinks that he and the marlin are joined together and have been so since noon, and that there is no one to help them. There is thus, gallantry against gallantry. Both try their best to defeat each other on merit. Third, he is as alone as is the marlin. Both are indifferent to pains and sufferings. Both are determined to win victory over each other.

Santiago comes out victorious in catching the marlin. On this he feels as if he had betrayed the marlin.

This fight shows his heroic qualities, such as, the power of endurance patients, determination, strong will power, steadfastness and perseverance.

In short, the marlin is the biggest challenge for Santiago in this novel “The Old Man and the Sea”. At last he succeeds after a constant and strenuous struggle.


8700cookie-checkMarlin in The Old Man and the Sea