Santiago Character in The Old Man and The Sea

Santiago Character The Old Man and The Sea:-In “The Old Man and the Sea” we find different type of characters . Some are living beings and some one is non living but it looks alike living beings and does behave as living being. “The Old Man and the Sea” is the most celebrated novel of Hemingway. This novel informs us about the great struggle of an old man, Santiago. He is a
professional, seasoned and skillful fisherman. Santiago is the important character
of the novel in ‘The Old Man and The Sea’. He is thin and serious looking and undefeated.

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” He is the best fisherman in the town”


He has taken this profession as a way of life not as a way of making money.
He is careful and conscious of the moods of the weather. He knows the
names of the fishes. He is very sensitive to the things around him. He is a
man of determination. He is the master of this art. When he remains unable
to catch fish for eight four days, the people call him unlucky. His battle with
the marlin and white sharks shows that he is a man of exceptional qualities.
In this context he says:


“What a man can do and what a man endures”


He is an optimist. After this defeat from sharks, he feels that he can still do
something very important in his life. He is humble and compassionate. He
loves the creatures of the sea and airs. He loves the flying fish, the turtle and
hawks bill. He faces all the hardships with courage and glory. He has
exceptional qualities such as patience courage and resolution, which make
him a code hero. His fight with the marlin and sharks shows;


“A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.”

In short, character of Santiago in’ The Old Man and The Sea’ has a symbolic significance. He stands for all the human
beings in the world.

The Old Man and The Sea SANTIAGO CHARACTER;-

Santiago’s hand game competition with Negro

Santiago’s hand game with Negro is very important incident of the novel. It plays a vital role in the developing of Santiago’s character. His great courage, determination and his remarkable endurance enable him to do deeds of bravely. In his youth, he had strong and muscular body. He played the hand game with great Negro from Cienfuegos.

This contest was held at the tavern of Casablanca. Many of the bettors asked for a few because they had to go to work on the docks. Both Santiago and Negro set around the table. Their elbows were on the chalk line drawn across the center of the table. They gripped each other’s hand firmly.

The spectators watched this hard competition in the light of kerosene lamps. In the long run, Santiago succeeded in getting victory over his opponent. He defeated the Negro after hard struggle of twenty four hours. He was declared the champion in hand wrestling.

While catching the marlin, he recalls his heroic victory in this competition. It boots up his confidence and encourages him during his fight with the marlin.

Santiago’s optimism :-

“The Old Man and the Sea” is about the great struggle of an old man, Santiago. He is a professional seasoned and skillful fisherman. He has heroic and admirable qualities. Santiago always thinks that new day will bring new hopes and hence he continues his effort without knowing the result.

                                      “Eighty five is a lucky number.”

Santiago says that if the past is hopeless, future will be hopeful. He should never give up his efforts but on working hard in order to make his future bright and promising. If the past is full of miseries and sufferings, it does not mean that he should give up his efforts. The new rising of the sun will certainly pave his way to success.

Santiago never relent his efforts. He constantly works and never gives in. Santiago is always hopeful. When sharks attack he knows that he cannot face them, in spite of this he accepts their challenge. He believes that constant effort brings glory in life.

                                       “Life is not a child’s play”

In short, Santiago’s character shows an optimistic outlook. This attitude will glorify his future. He therefore, does not lose heart because he believes that man is not made for defeat.

     Significance of Baseball and Di Maggio

Santiago is found of baseball. He often talks about baseball matches and his favorite teams. He talks about baseball champion like Di Maggio and Dick Sister. The old man knows a lot about baseball. His favorite player is Di Maggio. He feels proud of him. Di Maggio is a constant source of inspiration for the old man. He is also symbol of strength and endurance for Santiago. When mandolin tells him that the Yankees have lost today’s match. He says that.

                                              “It means nothing.”

It shows that for Santiago victory or defeat does not matter. To him constant and brave struggle is the greatest virtue. When he is alone in his hut, he tries to kill time by reading about baseball activities. When he comes back after fighting against the marlin and sharks, he reads previous newspaper just to keep himself in touch with the courage and patience of great Di Maggio who plays perfectly in spite of the pain of the bone spur in his heel.

The old man believes that he is also a champion in his own field. He compares himself with Di Maggio.

In short, baseball is only recreation Santiago is interested in. Santiago is fond of Di Maggio. He respects him as one champion does to other.

Hemingway’s Code Hero:-

Hemingway defines code of hero as a man who lives correctly. He follows certain ideals of honor, courage and endurance. He exercises all these traits in painful and stressful situation.The code hero handles difficult situation bravely. He is individualist and free willed. He has his own set of morals and principles based on honor courage and endurance. He never shows emotions. He expresses himself not in words but in action. He shows grace while he is under pressure. Everything about him was old except his eyes.

In “The Old Man and the Sea” character of Santiago is considered the code hero for many reasons. Santiago follows a strict code of behavior. He lives simple life without all the luxuries that other have. He shows his boundless endurance, unflinching faith and unlimited determination.

                           “Santiago never gives up nor gives in.”

Santiago lives an extremely simple life. Other fishermen have radios to kill times, but all that Santiago had his thoughts and sometimes the boy. On the boat, he had little food and drink. Santiago shows a great deal of grace during his struggle to catch great fish. He also shows great grace with his battle with sharks and pain does not matter to a man.

Santiago is a perfect code hero of Hemingway. He faces all the hardships with courage, honor and grace. He expresses himself not in words but in action. He stands for the moral code of life. He is an embodiment of the endurance. He proves that a man can be a destroyed but not defeated. He shows that what a man can do and what a man endures.

In short, it is true to say that Santiago is a true code hero. He has all the qualities of the code hero.

  Relationship of Santiago and Manolin:-

Manolin’s character is one of the characters in this novel “The Old Man and the Sea”who draws our attention having been out of the sight .He always remains in our thoughts whenever he is not present in the novel .He is seen by Santiago’s conversation,he never ever goes away rather he comes in our thoughts. Manolin plays a significant role in the novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”. He is second important character after Santiago. Hemingway describes the close relationship between the old man and Manolin. Manolin loves Santiago sincerely and selflessly. He is fully trustworthy and devoted disciple of old man. He learns the skills of fishing from Santiago. Manolin says;

                                        “Santiago is the best fisher”

Manolin loves Santiago and their relationship seems to be a relationship of son and father. Both are the symbols of good friendship. He takes care of all the needs of the old man at every stage. His love for the old man is natural and spontaneous. So there is a deep personal understanding between them. Manolin has symbolic importance in the story. He is the symbol of Santiago’s youthful strength. He is a source of inspiration for the old man. Santiago says that the boy keeps me alive. Manolin is compelled by his parents to leave Santiago.

                             “It was papa, who made me leave him,

                                         I am a boy I must obey him.”

Although Manolin leaves him yet he has regard and great respect for him. Both Manolin and Santiago take interest in baseball. They discuss different matches. They are also interest in racing and betting on horse. Manolin is a source of help for Santiago. For him relationship is more important. He believes in love, respect and loyalty.

In short, he is an obedient sincere and devoted pupil, so there exist a great attachment between the two characters.

Thus, end of the discussion of the novel ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ we find in this character of Santiago has all the qualities that must be in a hero.

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