"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Old Man and the Sea
When Nine Inch Nails sang "I\'d rather die than give you control" they were probably not thinking
of Santiago yet the quote speaks of courage somewhat similar to his courage. Santiago, though, has many
other qualities besides courage and that\'s what Ernest Hemingway tries to display in his novel The Old Man
in the Sea. Heminway\'s main objective was to display Santiago as an old man who tries to overcome the
hardships of a life of fishing without quitting. Hemingway uses short simple words to describe the old man
leaving the reader with the idea that Santiago is a champion. Santiago is a hero because he strives to
succeed by catching the great fish and yet he still loves and respects it and finally he knows the importance
of fate and luck in any situation and that he can not change it only accept it.
Santiago accepts what he has to do to succeed by having to kill what he loves. He had been
chasing the greatest of all fish he had ever seen and he was determined to kill it. The problem was that he
loved the fish. "Fish, I love you and respect you very much but I will kill you before this day ends."(p 54)
This quote shows Santiago\'s feelings toward his opponent, the fish. Not many fishermen will confess their
love or respect to a fish and he does not only this but he also states his determination to succeed and that he
will kill even what he loves. It takes a great hero to kill what he loves and respects.
The respect of the fish is another way Santiago shows his heroism. Even though the fish is his
opponent he only speaks kindly of him. The old man wanted to be a fair fight and he wouldn\'t dream of
cheating or lessening the fish\'s chances. "I wish I could feed the fish, he thought. He is my brother. I must
kill him and keep strong to do it." (p 59) This quote shows how the old man respects the fish because he
tries to keep the battle fair by attempting to give it food. Although the fish receives no food it is not
because the old man would not but more likely he could not. He feels the fish to be trying to succeed as
much as he and so he calls him his brother, a very high form of regard. Therefore respect of the opponent
is a great characteristic of a hero although there are others.
One other is to accept that when fate and luck determine something, it can not be changed.
Santiago had his share of good and bad luck. He was lucky when he caught the marlin but unlucky when
the sharks ate it. He did a good job controlling his reactions to his fate when very thing was looking
unfortunate by always trying his hardest and never giving up. Yet good luck was very important to
Luck is a thing that comes in many forms and who can recognize her? I would take some though in any
form and pay what they asked. (p117)
This quote shows the old mans desperation for luck. He has caught a huge fish and it is taken so any form
of good luck would have helped him. If there was no luck or fate the old man would have to work
exceptionally hard for all he wanted with everything resting on his shoulders. Luck is a relief yet still
something you can not change. And so the acceptance of fate and luck is a definite sign of heroism.
In conclusion Santiago is clearly a hero and the hero of The Old Man and the Sea due to his
determination to succeed, his love and respect of the marlin and his acceptance of fate and luck. Santiago
was just a man tying to prove the others who said he was too old, weak or unlucky wrong by showing his
heroism, courage and grace under pressure even when all the odds were against him. Although Santiago
had never heard the Nine Inch Nails and probably did not want to, he did relate to it. He was a determined
man and not even sharks and magnificent fish could hold
View Full Essay
American literature, Anthrozoology, English-language films, Films, The Old Man and the Sea, Luck, Marlin, Ernest Hemingway, Fish, Santiago
More Free Essays Like This