The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

Relationship, External Nature and Dignity
in The Old Man and The Sea

Man has always suffered his most to achieve
his goal. However if one doesn't experience the danger; will not be prepared
to handle his problems. Experience is a part of life which gives man his
true identity. Does this identity comes from one's luck or struggle? Relationships
on the other hand interpret strength and dignity. Ernest Hemingway has
shown this through Manolin's behavior. He is a young boy who follows Santiago
and listen to his wisdom. If this dignity is eliminated will it effect
there relationship? Santiago's fight with nature symbolizes the troubles
of existence. Does this mean that the outer existence is nothing but a
perilous world?

Relationship, External nature and Dignity
are the major themes in The Old Man and the Sea

A very important relationship in the novella

The Old Man and the Sea is that between Manolin and Santiago. Manolin supports

Santiago and helped him to confront his greatest challenge. Manolin proves
this when he says, "I would like go fishing with you. I would like to serve
you in some way" (p. 15). Manolin is the first person who appreciates Santiago's
experience and skills. He wants to be like Santiago and be a skillful fisherman
(p.24). Manolin's concern for Santiago is very significant to their relationship.

It keeps the united even after a huge difference in their age. When Santiago
returns after loosing his spectacular catch, it's Manolin who cries at
the sight of the wounds "he saw the old man's hand and started to cry"
(p. 122), and vows that he will never allow the old man to fish alone again.

Therefore' Manolin has proven his relationship to Santiago through his
moral respect.

The danger confronting Santiago in the
external nature represents the troubles of existence. Heminway's, The Old

Man and the Sea represents many meanings to the out side existence. The
marlin for example represents struggle, trouble and the last challenge

Santiago went through. Santiago's struggle as a fisherman with marlin also
symbolizes durability by putting up such a struggle. Accomplishing or obtaining
something doesn't always end one's journey. Once Santiago hooked the fish
(marlin) he still has further complications (p.57). First, the fish might
dive to the bottom and break the line; second, it might die, and sink (p.72).

The sharks bring him more trouble afterwards. The cost him to loose his
stuff, "He took my harpoon and my rope (p.103). The sharks represent those
who tear apart one's success. Therefore, the external nature is nothing
but affliction to the mankind.

Santiago's dignity as a human being is
established by the code of values he loves because he is a fisherman. His
last experience as a fisherman gains him his ultimate victory when he goes
out and fights nature in the form of terrible creatures, among them, a
marlin and sharks. He starts the story in a small skiff and moves out in
a journey to capture a fish after a long losing streak of eighty- four
days (p. 25). Santiago comes upon a force bigger than his skiff, the marlin
that misleads him out past his intended reach (p. 62). Santiago has struggled
for three days, which is significant because for three days he continues
to fight on though his goal may not acquire anything. But at last his great
will power and pride provides him with his greatest victory. Santiago is
a man with a great pride and courage. He proves this point through his
statement "But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not
defeated" (p. 103). This old wrinkled man finally over comes the great
force of nature, the marlin by following the code of the fisherman.

Finally this novella proves Santiago's
profession as a fisherman which leads him to his final perilous experience
and his relationship with Manolin .This story has good points, for when
it comes to the better parts of the story, it emphasizes by placing in
mind step by step of the way Santiago does certain actions. Hemingway has
merged three themes already mentioned above successfully unto this book.

Among them are Relationship, External Nature, and the code of dignity.

The obvious ones are nature; it's cruelty and compassion. Nature caused
pain yet gained him victory, caused him emptiness yet satisfied him, and
gave the fish yet reclaimed it. Nature is actually more luck than a set
of rules, for it can shift back and forth with the greatest of ease. The
code of honor is not actually the hardest to