Essay about Santiago in "The Old Man and the Sea"

641 Words 3 Pages
Many characters in the history of literature, such as Odysseus were obviously portrayed as heroes and were offered accolade. However, some characters are not easily recognized as being heroic. The old man, Santiago, in The Old Man and the Sea is one of them.
The old man and the sea is a novella about an old Cuban fisherman, Santiago, and his three-day battle with a giant Marlin fish. Throughout the novella, Santiago is portrayed in different perspectives. He is tough and refuses to give up at any time. He withholds the will to continue and the courage to overcome what is believed to be the impossible. His persistence and confidence, his absolute determination and his unique way of accepting the reality makes him a noble hero.
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“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”(Page 35) He believed that he still have the ability and strength to catch a big fish. His confidence strengthened his conviction and kept him alarm; it also greatly supported the old man and helped him to keep his head clear during the battle with the marlin and the sharks afterwards.
Determination defined the second characteristic of Santiago. He determined to catch the marlin even if he knew that it would take a lot of effort. He said to himself after he hooked the marlin: “fish, I will stay with you until I am dead.”(Page 50)This line shows his determination to win the battle with the fish. He not only used his physical strength and skills to fight, but also use his mental determination. He also determined to bring the fish home, even after he encountered the sharks. After he killed the first shark, he stated: “But man is not made for defeat, a man can be destroyed but not defeated.”(Page 99) Although this proved to be wrong latter in the novella, but this quote clearly demonstrated his determination to defend his fish until he dies. His determination is what keeps him fighting the sharks, and he continued to fight even it is he knew it would be impossible to bring his fish back.
The third characteristic that makes Santiago a hero is the way he accepted the reality of his failure. After the old man comes home, he told the boy:” They truly beat me.”

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