Old Man and The Sea


In life, one will go through a number of stages in life. Infancy, Youth , Adulthood, and
Old Age are all key stages. As one grows, they mature through these various stages. When one
reaches old age, there is often a lot of doubt surrounding their lives. Serenity, and independence
are often the two most questioned. These are some questions that Santiago has to ask himself as
well.
In the novel The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway develops the concept of
man coming to the realization that as he ages, his dependency on others will increase. The use of
metaphor is key in showing how this is indeed true. The struggle with the Tiburon represents the
mental struggle that Santiago is having with himself. The Tiburon is also used as a metaphor for
Santiago?s life. The boy in the story parallels what Santiago?s life once was.
The struggle with the Tiburon represents the struggle that Santiago is having with himself.
The constant struggle makes Santiago realize that he is no longer as young as he thinks he is and
he must rely on the help of others. This is shown when Santiago is battling the Tiburon.

" ?Bad news for you fish?, he said and shifted the line over the sacks
that covered his shoulders. He was comfortable, but suffering,
although he did not admit to the suffering at all. ? I am not
religious...but I will say Ten Hail Marys that I should catch this
fish?... ?Hail Mary full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art
thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour
of death, Amen.? Then he added. ? Blessed Virgin, pray for the
death of this fish, wonderful as he is.? "
[ Hemingway 64-65]

This quote shows that the old man is forced to break the rules of sanity and talks to
himself as well as the fish which cannot hear him. The old man thinks to himself that the fish is a "
" God fearing " fish and by saying the Hail Mary, the fish will give in and let himself be caught.
After saying the Hail Mary the Old Man tries to convince himself that his previously hurt hand is
okay, when really it is not.
In another part of the story Santiago admits that he is losing his sanity. "He did not want
to look at the fish. He knew that half of him had been destroyed " [Hemingway 114]. This
shows that Santiago is now relating himself tot he fish. While fighting off the sharks, he thinks to
himself that if he had the use of both his hands along with perfect health, he would have been able
to fight off the sharks.
These quotes show that Santiago is not as young as he thinks he is. This is shown by the
gradual deterioration of his sanity. Santiago must come to the realization that he needs the help
of others.
The Tiburon is also used as a vehicle for Santiago?s final days as well. The Tiburon is
used as a metaphor for Santiago?s life. The struggle he has with the Tiburon parallels growing up
poor in Cuba. This is shown when Santiago first struggles with the fish. " ?He can?t have gone,?
he said. ? Christ knows that he can?t have gone. He?s making a turn. Maybe he has been hooked
before and he remembers something of it. ? " [Hemingway 42] This shows that Santiago is
depending on the capture of this fish as a means of survival. Santiago knows from experience that
the size of this fish will benefit him a tremendous amount financially. He prays that the fish is not
lost. If the fish is lost that means that Santiago would spend another night poor.
The catching of the Tiburon equals the completion of Santiago?s life. As much fight as the
Tiburon had before he allowed Santiago to catch him is the same as Santiago knowing that his
struggle to survive by fishing is over. This is shown when the old man is sleeping.

" He was asleep in a short time and he dreamed of Africa when he
was a boy and the long golden beaches and the white beaches, so
white that they hurt your eyes, and the high capes, and the great
brown mountains. ...He no longer dreamed of women, nor storms,
nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests
of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places