The epic journey of The Old Man and the Sea describes struggle, discipline and manhood. The main characters relationships exemplify how faith and skill overcome mans adversity during life on the sea. Santiagos growing relationship with the boy idealizes his statute as a father figure and develops his integrity and values towards the boy. Hemmingway shows us how an old fishermans will to overcome the seas obstacles proves his manhood to himself and the young boy. His skills and knowledge of the sea provide a positive influence for the young boy to become a great fisherman someday.
Throughout the constant struggle between Santiago and the fish, he is forced to prove his skills as a fisherman and conduct his discipline to retain his manhood. Santiagos moral dilemma he faces to converse with the sea regards a large mysterious marlin. From the time the old man hooks the great fish to when he finally captures him; Santiago faces the hardest of adversity that reflects his age and discipline with his stamina to push his own limits. His entire journey amasses conflicts that lead to his own suffering.
These unavoidable events leave scars upon scars to his hands and threaten the brink of consciousness for Santiago. He constantly remembers his discipline in order to keep the fish. He wishes the fish would begin to fight back so he can capture him faster. In the prolonged struggle between the fish and the old man his conscience questioned his justifications for battling such a great creature. Always in the back of his mind was the young boy who he valued for friendship and companionship. These ideals helped Santiago remember his discipline for fishing and his integrity for his own manhood.
The pain and suffering the old man must endure to overcome the seas adversity help to justify Santiagos rebirth of manhood. His legendary journey provides mental and physical altercations Santiago must survive in order to prove to himself that he is still a man capable of catching fish. Society labels Santiago as an unlucky fisherman for not catching any fish for 85 days, and yet ignore his skills as a wise, witty fisherman. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready. (32) Santiago coordinates good luck with offerings from the sea.
He also said, in order to catch the big fish I must go out far enough where the great one will be distracting death for his own adversity with the open sea. He almost distains fate into his situation with the fish by taking all the pain and suffering his body endures to complete his desires. He did not truly feel good because the pain from the cord across his back had almost passed pain and into dullness that he mistrusted. (74) Once both the fish and Santiago had reached the breaking point of conflict the story seemed to slow down in time to exemplify the adverse conditions that both characters were suffering from.
The old man proves himself worthy of personal suffering with the cuts and scars on his hands and back along with all of the pulling and slipping the cords had upon his fragile body. Hemmingway shows in a big way how an out of proportioned conflict with an old fisherman and an 18 foot long marlin helps to magnify the significance of Santiago searching for his rebirth to manhood. With constant abstraction describing the fish and the sea in relation to brotherhood create interesting questions for Santiago to ponder. His rationalization for his fishing is that he was born to do it.
A man can be destroyed but not defeated. (103) Hemmingway proves that this fish represents all of Santiagos built up tension to total the size of a gigantic marlin that is perceived as devastating but not unconquerable. The old mans hopes and aspirations can overcome the adversity of the marlins size, along with the conditions of the old, hungry, and exhausted fisherman. Through outright suffering Santiago achieves a goal above his previous manhood by combating pain and mental struggle to capture the fish and then conversely lose it.
The combination of his physical hardships and mental frustration help him to realize some traits specific to the Hemmingway Hero as well as becoming a man. Santiagos search for a rebirth of his own manhood wasnt going to ever be justified by himself since he felt responsible to his own misfortune. Instead, Santiago was able to justify his actions through societys surprised responses and the everlasting care from the young boy. Part of the old mans life is reflected through the boys dreams to become a skilled fisherman. The tender relationship between the two allow for a comfortable environment to share their ideas about life.
Hemmingway uses subjects like baseball and practical daily issues like eating and sleeping as a way of communication between the boy and the old man. Each and every day the old man and the boy would talk about practical issues rather than fishing since they werent allowed to fish together. Santiago respected the boy as an apprentice to his methods being that the boy was so eager to learn his ways. Santiagos personal integrity didnt allow the boy to disobey his parents by fishing with him because of his own problems in reflecting manhood in himself.
You bought me a beer, the old man said. You are already a man. 12) The level of respect the old man and the boy shared between each other idealized both their love for the sea and fishing. The old man had to prove to himself of his own worthiness of being a great fisherman so he could complete his unfinished teachings to the boy. Santiago developed an unsaid confidence in the boy from his kindness as a close fishing companion. On numerous occasions during the old mans struggles he wishes for the boys help to rationalize his pain. He knew that he must fish on his own to find his true self in front of gods destiny. This is another reason why he didnt object to the boy fishing with him.
His unlucky stretch must be overcome by himself and only himself in order to prove himself as a man once again. I think there are many occasions in a persons life where manhood is questioned and a rebirth of ideas is abroad. We might be able to call these our phases of life everyone seems to undergo. As Santiagos life slows down it is harder to prove to himself his own worth, but through the boy he is allowed a chance to reflect his own aspirations and honor for the sea on to the boy. Often times in a persons life comes a test to overcome in order to prove something integral to the rest of ones life.
Hemmingways amazing journey of an old man, a fish, and a boy, show us the simplicity of life rather than the complex emotions of irrational thought. The situations, style and examples of manhood in this story help to illustrate the importance of proving ones manhood in order to find closure in your life. Santiagos ideals as a fisherman reflected upon by the boy show the respect of friendship between characters as well as describing admiration within his abilities and hardships throughout the story. Silently the message of manhood obtained by overcoming personal sacrifice shows how Santiago can remember his gift for life, being a fisherman.