Santiago: Character Analysis - in The Old Man And The Sea

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The Old Man And His Battle Against The Marlin and The Sharks

      Santiago, the Old Man is an old fisherman who fishes alone in the gulf stream. His name “Santiago” is actually taken from Saint James, who was originally a fisherman living close to the Sea of Galilee and later became an apostle and eventually a martyr. After eighty-four days without catching a fish, he rows out early one morning, alone, into the gulf stream, meaning he goes out too far to try his luck. He knows that the eighty-fifth day is going’ to be a lucky day. Towards noon, a marlin is hooked but it turns out to be a huge fish who begins to swim touring the skiff along. For two days and two nights the marlin tows him first towards the northeast then eastward without surfacing. The Old Man endures the ordeal of being the towing butt for so long without proper food and drink. He is extremely tired but he hangs on and refuses to give up. He batters the fish with all his remaining strength and stamina and all the tricks and techniques of fishing and succeeds in bringing the marlin towards noon. He harpoons it and brings it alongside but the marlin is two feet longer than the skiff so that he cannot bring him on. He has to lash him alongside the skiff. Then unfurling his mast he sets sail homeward but sharks drawn by the blood from the marlin come in pairs, single and in a pack and attack the marlin. Throughout the day and the night the Old Man fights a losing battle against the sharks, even after losing his knife, clubbing them with his club then tiller. But there is nothing left of the marlin save the skeleton and the Old Man brings in the carcass to the harbor. Alone, he drags himself home.

Victory in Defeat

      Santiago is beaten. He has been beaten by the sharks. But even in his defeat he has won a moral victory. In this way the sense of the winner takes nothing notion is conveyed. Santiago won a long drawn out battle of endurance against the marlin, he has truly shown what a man can do and what a man endures. He had battled on and fought on without giving it up though his strength was waning, especially with the sharks. He has no weapons but he fights and later, in the night when he cannot see his enemies, he fights against what he can hear. He never gives up trying and, therefore, is undefeated even when the sharks take away all of his hard won fish and leave the carcass. He has been at sea for three days and three nights, something broke inside him. He is tired, exhausted and has reached a point of absolute physical exhaustion and has attained humility without loss of pride. He has lost almost everything but his victory is the victory for persisting for having endured in his purpose. His moral victory is won through keeping his belief in the worth of his aims and actions and determination intact, though one way he achieves no materialistic gains.

The Old Man’s Prize and His Loss

      Hemingway had based the novel, The Old Man and The Sea on a true anecdote that he had heard and published as an article in a periodical in the spring of 1936. This anecdote was about an Old Man fishing alone who had caught a huge fish who had towed him for a day, a night, a day and another night. He had later been picked up sixty miles off the cabanas, which he heard and forward part of the marlin lashed to his boat, the sharks were circling him and the Old Man was crying from his loss. This story as it appears in the novel formed slowly. However, there exists a world of difference in the anecdote and the written novel. The immense difference being due to Hemingway’s art of narration. If one had just read the article published in 1936 one would surely agree that the feat was incredible and some would point out that it was improbable. To read the novel from the same point of view, concentrating on the shape of the anecdote alone, the reader might find that nothing comes of the whole thing. He might argue how the Old Man’s prize won by his determination and skill, through a long battle against an equally determined marlin was perfectly balanced in the loss he suffered and again another fierce and long drawn Hattie against the sharks. Such a reader might question being left with nothing but zero as the prize is precisely canceled out by the loss.

      But Hemingway’s intention was that the reader looked at the incident from a different point of view. He did not mean to leave the reader cold. Hemingway has drawn out the reader’s sympathy for the Old Man right from the very beginning in the manner in which he has drawn the portrait of the Old Man. As the novel begins “He was an old man, who fished alone in a skiff in the gulf stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish, the boy s parents had told him that the Old man was definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. A little later Hemingway gives a physical description of the Old Man. “The Old Man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck.....and hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh.” “Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

Santiago: A Christ Figure

      Santiago in the story is only an ordinary fisherman in much the same way as St. James was initially a simple fisherman. But during the course of the novel, the Old Man acquires a high dignity in the manner in which he carries out his professional work. He is singled out from amongst a throng and is represented as fighting a battle of grit and endurance which stands as a symbol of man’s battle against life. For this, he is a figure immortal in the literary world of fiction. Santiago is also a character that bears strong resemblance to the other Hemingway heroes, especially the Hemingway code-hero, as portrayed in the young priest in A Farewell to Arms and later The Old Spaniard. Anselms, in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Now this leads to the question of Santiago’s close resemblance to the figure of Christ. This was a result of Hemingway’s interest in the proposition that between the “good men” in the history of Christianity and Christ, the son of God, in his human form, there exist a close affinity and similarity. These men, selected from thousands of Christians are his disciples regardless of the extent of their belief in Christianity. In this respect, Santiago shows certain qualities and characteristics of mind and heart that bear close affinity to Jesus Christ, our Lord. These characteristics can be listed as his indomitable, militant spirit, his brave and heroic nature, the stamina and stoic endurance and his determination and resolution that enable him to fight and struggle for the object aimed regardless of all and to bear any physical pain or torture. In this regard, a critic has stated that : “Etched on the reader’s mind is the mood of the Old Man as he settled against the wood of the bow....and took his suffering as it came; telling himself, rest gently now against the wood and think of nothing.” “The suffering, the gentleness and the wood” blend magically into an image of Christ on the cross.” This image of the Old Man is reinforced in the Old Man’s deep scars on his hand and later in his right hand bleeding and the left hand being cramped and useless again shown when the Old Man returns home shouldering the mast the image of Christ carrying the cross is again reflected. Further, the image is strengthened in the picture of the Old Man sleeping with his injured hands stretched out and the palms facing upwards.

The Old Man’s Humility

      In relation to the notion of portraying Santiago like a Christ-like figure, his characteristics such as humanity and compassion, his piousness and his having achieved humility need to be discussed in some detail. In the book, Hemingway describes how the Old Man has attained a humility with loss of pride. This comes when Manolin, the boy, gives him two sardines for bait which he has bought. “Thank you,’ the Old Man said. He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew he had attained it and he knew it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride.” Again, later when Manolin says “And the best fisherman is you’ he answers ‘No. I know other better.’ And the boy answers “Queve.” There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you. “And to this the Old Man replies: “Thank you. You make me happy. I hope no fish will come along so great that he will prove us wrong.”

      In the course of the novel as Santiago battles against the marlin, the biggest fish that he has never heard of or seen and the endurance and determination he shows in his desperate struggle that takes him beyond exhaustion, and his victory, shows him to be the greatest fisherman. Manolin is proved right. But by this time, Hemingway tells us that Santiago’s pride had been gone for a long time now, all his sufferings have forced his pride out. All what remained is his immense humility.


      Santiago is also full of compassion and humanity, apart from his other qualities. Santiago alone at sea feels alone but knows he is never alone. He has a deep compassion for all the creatures of the sea though sometimes the scavengers of the sea arouse bis contempt. Like the Portuguese men-of-war bird, he calls it Agua mala, meaning “You Whore”, for these outwardly handsome and attractive birds are deadly, its long purple filaments are lethal, causing swelling and sores in men. They are beautiful but they are the falsest things in the sea and the Old Man loved to see the big sea turtles and eat them. He has a dislike and hatred for the scavenger sharks. Later, he kills these greedy sharks. He was very fond of flying fish as they were his principal friends on the ocean. And he was sorry for the small delicate birds who have a hard life against the ocean which could be cruel. The Old Man also loves the green turtles and hawkbills for their elegance, speed and great value while he had a friendly contempt for the huge stupid logger-heads, yellow in their armor plating, strange in their love-making and happily eating the Portuguese men-of-war with their eyes shut contentedly. He was: sorry for all the turtles, even the great trunkbacks while most of the people are heartless about the turtles. About porpoises he says, “They are good. They play and make jokes and love one another. They are our brothers like the flying fish.” He even feels pity for the huge marlin that he has hooked. He is wonderful and strange, he says. He feels sorry that the marlin cannot eat and wishes there were a way to feed him. Later he says, “Fish, I love you and respect you” But then he knows he has to kill him for his sustenance. Thus, Santiago has a natural feeling of love and compassion for all the creatures of the sea especially for those weaker, delicate birds and animals. A feeling of oneness with nature is expressed. He says that the creatures of the sea are his true brothers. The fish, as also the marlin are true brothers. However, this is not in any way sentimentalized it is an essentially realistic feeling and this can be discerned from the description of the small warbler, a land bird perched on the stern of the boat and rested there. Then he flew around the Old Man’s head and rested on the line where he was more comfortable. Then Santiago asks “How old are you? Is this your first trip?”

      The bird looked at him when he spoke. He was too tired even to examine the line and he teetered on it as hit; delicate feet gripped it fast.

“It’s steady,” The Old Man told him, “It’s too steady. You shouldn’t be that tired after a windless night, what are birds coming to?”

      The hawks he thought, that come out to sea to meet them. But he said nothing of this to the bird who could not understand him anyway and who would learn about the hawks soon enough.

“Take a good rest, small bird,’ he said. “Then go in and take your chance like any man or bird or fish.”

      Then he invites the bird.

‘Stay at my house if you like bird,’ I am sorry as cannot hoist the sail and take you in with the small breeze that is rising. But I am with a friend.’

      This passage shows how the Old Man, who has stayed in the sea all his life as a fisherman, has found a compassion for all good and beautiful creatures in the sea. He feels a close brotherhood with them who give him company in his otherwise lonely fishing expeditions.

Pious But Not Religious

      Santiago himself says “I am not religious” but that he is a pious man is proved without a doubt in the course of the text. He may joke about his religion but his piousness is apparent in his awareness of a supreme being, a supernatural power controlling all things. He has a constant and unquestioning belief in this power and it is evident in his struggle both inside and outside of his struggle. He also constantly alludes to Christ, God and to the Virgin Mary. But he is not a foul-speaking person and his allusions are, therefore, never oaths. They are rather a plea for help, a plea to be able to call on and draw from a supposedly available source of strength. A look at the various references to God is in the course of his struggle, “Christ knows he can’t have gone” this is at a moment when he is unsure of the fish being hooked. Later he prays, “God let him jump” after the fish has towed him to exhaustion but the fish himself was not tired. Then “God help me to have the cramp go”, This is when his left hand is severely cramped at a moment. When he knows that he shall need both hands to fight the marlin. However, he does not rely solely on God’s intervention. Santiago, therefore, may not be religious but in his hour of need he remembers God and the boy Manolin. He is struggling to catch the biggest fish ever seen or heard of and he actually prays to God. He says, “But I will say ten our Fathers and ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish and I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin de Cobre if I catch him. That is a promise.” Later after having hooked the marlin he says, “Now that I have seen him coming so beautifully. God help me endure. I’ll say a hundred our Fathers and a hundred Hail Mary’s but I cannot say them now.” In the first instance, he begins to say his prayers mechanically, forgetting the prayer at one point, finally adding “Blessed Virgin pray for the death of this marlin. This shows the Old Man’s piety and his pious nature in his belief that there is a God to whom obeisance needs to be paid in order to achieve something.

A Comparison with Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner

      In his compassion towards the creatures of the sea the Old Man shares a trait similar to the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge's. The Ancient Mariner says: “He prayth best who love the best all things both great and small” however, the Old Man does not love everything. He has contempt and disgust for those creatures who are deadly or else live as scavengers. The Ancient Mariner again achieves compassion through prolonged suffering but the Old Man is shown as already humble and compassionate though there is a similarity in that they are both made to go through a prolonged ordeal. The Mariner with the Albatross around his neck and the Old Man with the marlin and the sharks, there also exists a difference. The Mariner has to come to a moral realization whereas the Old Man has to maintain his existing faith. Again, the Mariner’s shooting the Albatross is a meaningless and arbitrary action while it is necessary for the Old Man to kill the marlin. The similarity lies rather in the moral struggle that both the Mariner and the Old Man has to go through.

Oneness with Nature

      In his novels and short stories, Hemingway has mostly portrayed variations of the same character in the role of the protagonist. These men are sometimes thrown into a tragic mood due to their having lost touch with nature. For example, Frederic Henry, in A Farewell to Anns, is caught in the tangle of war deserts the war and tries to set up life in isolated surroundings which however, ends in tragedy. Another example is Jack Barnes in The Sun Also Rises, who is rendered impotent though a war would lead a decadent life consisting of an endless cafes and coffee houses but can never find happiness. In direct contrast to these characters stand Santiago, the perfect Code-hero who establishes a link with values and remains in touch with nature. Santiago, as a fisherman is always allied with nature and in the course of the novel his being physically tied to the fish ensures that his connection with nature is never broken. Santiago is based on the Saint James who had also been a fisherman. And thus an affinity to Saint Francis who also loved animals and birds. But Santiago has a close affinity with Nature and a more close relationship with the fish and birds. Santiago says that the fish are his true brother. He is fond of all the soft, delicate and beautiful creatures of the sea. The birds are his principal friends. Later, when a warbler comes and perches on the line itself he tells it, “I am with a friend” so he couldn’t take him in. A sudden jerk from the fish results in the bird flying away and he is left alone. He would have liked him for company. Later, looking across the sea he felt alone for a while but then he saw a fight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky and knew that no man was ever alone on the sea. The Old Man thus has a feeling of oneness with the creatures of Nature. This oneness helps him in his long ordeal by keeping his thoughts focused and thus helps him to endure the physical exhaustion.

Santiago’s Moral Concerns

      Santiago’s struggle with the marlin and then the sharks and his victory in defeat can be classed as an experience akin to that of a martyr. Santiago suffers because he refuses to give up the belief that man was not made for defeat. He, therefore, sits out to do, what he is born to do, that, is, to be a fisherman, to best of his ability applying all his cunning and skills that he had learned. Morally he does no wrong. But his long struggle and trials and tribulations and then his victory in defeat due to his courage, grit and determination is identified with a crucification and the deification. However, his simplicity and humility ensure that the martyrdom that he achieves is not delighted by any notion of a “deliberate or consciousness suffering”. He endures his suffering because of his belief that ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” This thought strengthens his resolve to fight the fish and then the sharks to the end, as he says, “I’ll stay with you till I die”. He persists in his battle and endures the physical pain and exhaustion till the limit, untill the only way out is to take his suffering as it came. But even at this point things do not deter him. He has a realistic viewpoint. He feels sad for the marlin. But it is his livelihood and therefore, he has to kill him. He is not going against nature nor is surprised that the sharks attack him. In fact, he knew that there was maximum possibility of their coming and he was also aware that the fight would be difficult. He says: If sharks come, God pity him and me.’

Santiago’s Pride and his Notion of Sin

      In the course of his struggle Santiago reflects on such metaphysical considerations as Pride and Sin. He is troubled by this and other moral questions. Towards the end of the book Santiago reflects on sin and whether there is any connection between sin and suffering. Santiago is sailing homeward with his hard-won prize the marlin lashed to the side of the skiff when sharks attack. After killing the first shark and to attacking a big Mako shark, he knew more sharks would be coming since he was weaponless. He had lost hope but looking at the forward portion of the fish some of his hope returned and he tells himself. “It is silly not to hope. Besides, I believe it is a sin,” Thus, he begins to consider the problem but he also warns himself, “Do not think about sin”. There are enough problems now without sin.” However, he cannot help himself and he reflects further. I have no understanding of it and I am not sure that I believe in it. Perhaps it was a sin to kill the fish. I suppose it was even though I did it to keep me alive and feed many people. But then everything is a sin. Do not think about sin. It is much too late for that and there are people who are paid to do it. Let them think about it.” Then again he cannot stop thinking or forget the problem and he thinks more on the subject. But he tries for justification and he ponders: “You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to kill for food. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you love him after. It is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?” This question forms the crux of the problem. Further the question now is what motivated Santiago was it his professional duty and finding food for people or was it for pride? If it is the former then his motive is without sin. But he did it more for pride. To prove that he could do it, that he was still the champion, that he was the best fisherman and that he was a strange Old Man. Many times in the novel he makes statements that support this. He says “I’ll kill him, In all his greatness and his glory....I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures, Man is not made for defeat, Fish I’ll stay with you untill I am dead, “Fish I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” Thus, Santiago is driven by his need and then his determination and resolve but he cares for the creatures of the sea and loves them as brothers.

What Beat Santiago?

      Santiago is ultimately beaten but not defeated. He looks for another answer to the question as to why he was beaten apart from the explanation given that he was beaten because it had been a sin to kill the marlin for pride. The answer to this comes later when he answers the question himself, “Nothing, he said alouds,” “I went out too far” The idea of going too far out implies that Santiago had been driven to make a fearless effort of the soul to put in everything and take risk greater than ever before in the hope of winning the greater prize offered. In the initial stages of the book itself, Hemingway already establishes a contrast between what is near and far as at the sea-shore and the Gulf stream. There are men who prefer fishing within sight of land as these make the job easier to handle. These men are shore men but Santiago of course belongs to the other and opposite group who are bold, fearless and determined and who are always ready to go beyond the known and the reachable to search the unknown. The boy Manolin is now with a fisherman who belongs to the former category and never aspires for the great prizes to be won beyond. Santiago, on the other hand, does not hesitate. He is going far out as he tells Manolin and on the eighty-fifth day, after eighty-four fishless days he knew that he was going far out and he doesn’t hesitate. In the morning of the eighty-fifth day, he rows far out and soon only he left the smell of the land behind and rowed out into the clean early morning smell of the ocean. As the sun rose he saw other boats well towards the shore. Then two hours later he saw three boats but they were far inshore. A little towards noon he could no longer see the green of the shore. Hence he hopes to catch “My big fish” which “must be somewhere”. And the Old Man feels a fish nibbling one of the baits and as he looks at the dipping green stick he hopes its a big fish. And yes it is a huge marlin. Santiago and the fish had made their separate choices. Santiago came far out and hooked a great fish and the marlin stayed deep under at a hundred fathoms keeping away from all kinds of traps and snares. But the Old Man has thrown a challenge which the marlin accepts and now they are joined together till the victor and victim is decided. “My choice,” Santiago reflects, “was to go there to find him beyond all people in the world. Now we are joined together. An ultra-long battle of will and determination ensues and Santiago has to bear it and accept all its consequences because he was in it out of his own choice. And as the consequence of having gone too far out follow in the form of sharks attacking the marlin. After the second shark attack when about a quarter of the fish had been bitten away, he addresses the marlin saying: “I shouldn’t have gone out so far, fish, he said. ‘Neither for you nor for me. I’m sorry, fish.” After half the marlin has been mutilated; “I have half of him, he thought. Maybe I’ll have the luck to bring the forward half in. I should have some luck. No, he said. You violated your luck when you went too far outside.” Later, when he knew he was now truly beaten he meditates and asks himself what had beaten him. In answer, “Nothing,’ he said aloud. ‘I went out too far.” Thus the Old Man had been driven by his pride and determination and the belief he had in his profession plus the notion that man cannot be defeated. He had believed in his luck and placed faith that he would be victorious in his fight against the marlin. However, the marlin turned out to be the biggest he had ever heard of or seen and moreover, he was alone. His titanic struggle endows him with a rare kind of heroism, especially after his desperate battle against the sharks, which he fights without adequate weapons and doesn’t give up even when he knows that it’s a useless fight. He is, therefore, triumphant for his incurrent struggle even with defeat staring in the face.

Santiago’s Christian Attributes

      The Old Man has qualities and characteristics that make him more of a Christian Saint than the ordinary fisherman that he is. The Old Man has achieved humility, a Christian virtue that is not easily attainable and which is considered the most graceful and Saintly of all Christian virtues. “He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility. But he knew that he had attained it and he knew that it was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride. The Old Man’s humility is thus absolute. In his love and compassion for the creatures of the sea, he reminds one of Saint Francis. At other times in the novel, The Old Man also shows other major Christian virtues such as faith, hope and charity. When the Old Man and the boy Manolin are talking about how Manolin had to leave him and go with another boat due to his father, Manolin says of his father:

“He hasn’t much faith”
“No”, the Old Man said. “But we have. Haven’t we”
“Yes”, the boy said.

      The Old Man and the boy both have faith in the Old Man’s skill and also in some power that wouldn’t allow Santiago to go for fishes. During the course of the desperate struggle that Santiago fights against the marlin and then against the sharks, he had almost lost all hope, but he tells himself that “it is silly not to hope. Besides, it is a sin.” And thus hangs on. That he possesses charity which is evident from his attitude towards the birds and heasts of the sea. A small tired warbler comes and perches on his line. And he tells him, “Take a good rest, small bird.....stay at my house if you like bird I am sorry, I cannot hoist the sail and take you in with the small breeze that is rising.”

Santiago’s Non-Christian Attributes

      However, there is an argument that Santiago's Christian virtues arise from a non Christian order. For example, his faith and his hope are not the result of an unshakeable belief in God who is just, kind and benevolent. It springs more from his belief in man’s strength and endurance and the ability to accept suffering as it comes. For instance, the baseball star DiMaggio whom The Old Man constantly remembers and from whose memories he draws strength is first of all fisherman’s son who has become a star. He is also a man of strength and stoic endurance who in spite of being afflicted with a bone spur, a mysterious and painful illness, he performs well in all the baseball games that he plays. The concept of performing well, handicap or no handicap is the issue here. This is where Santiago can afford to place faith in. Only where one can endure everything in one’s pursuit for victory. This ability is in DiMaggio and Santiago finds and draws it out in himself. And therefore, he has faith. Therefore, he hopes. It is also a means for the Old Man to identify that which is real from the bogus. For example, he says towards the end of the novel when he is on the verge of absolute exhaustion and has also lost his prize the marlin, he thinks if it had all been a dream. Hemingway writes that he had only to look at his hands and feel his back against the stern to know that this had truly happened and was not a dream. The ability to endure suffering is what gives Santiago hope and keeps his faith alive. Even his notion of charity arises from his belief that he and the birds and fishes are caught in the same situation are driven by the same necessity for food and all are under the same forces that render judgment luck. His charity does not like the Christian notion come from the belief that all are equal and all are created by the same father. This is the reason when the small warbler comes and perches on the line and he says, “Take a good rest, small bird. They go in and take your chance like any man, bird or fish.”

The Idea of Pain and Endurance

      Because of the idea of pain and endurance that is conveyed through Santiago’s in the novel, it is sometimes said that the novel was itself a study in pain. Further, the value of the endurance of pain is emphasized. Santiago fishes in the Gulf stream for his living. But after eighty-four days of fishless days, Santiago fishes not just for his living and food but also to prove that he can fish and that he is a great fisherman, when he encounters the marlin on the eighty-fifth day he gets the chance to prove that he is the best fisherman according to the terms of pain and endurance which he understands and knows well. In his struggle there is an ascending degree of pain. First his right hand is out and his left hand is
cramped, more physical pain comparable to the pain that DiMaggio must have suffered with his bone spur. But soon it goes beyond this. He is utterly exhausted to the point that he cannot even hope. But he goes on and in this pain an image of the crucified Christ can be seen in his climbing towards his shack shouldering the heavy mast and finally going to sleep, “face down on the newspapers with his arms out straight and the palms of his hand up”. The novel, therefore, is exploring the aspect of how much a man can endure and what a man can do shows how it is a study in pain.

Santiago: Code Hero Exemplified

      Santiago’s humility, simplicity and his stoic endurance are qualities in the character of the Old Man that leads to the transformation of his defeat into a triumph. But such a character is now totally new in the Hemingway canon. As a character it can be said that Santiago is development of a character known as the code hero who had previously appeared in his works right from the short stories to the novels. The qualities and characteristics of this code hero seem to be exemplified in Santiago. He is an older and wiser version of the same. The earlier example of the code hero is Manul Gorcia, the bull fighter in the short story The Undefeated. The similarities between Gorcia and Santiago are striking. Both lose but both emerge winners in one way or the other. They are also both Old Man who are no longer in their hey day. They have left the best days of their profession far behind and are no longer able to meet the demands of their professions adequately. Santiago is wholly down on his luck and yet he sticks to the rules and dares to go on. He will not be defeated and even beaten he shall not quit. He is beaten but undefeated and emerges triumphant even in the face of enormous loss. This is in keeping with the theme that Hemingway intended to explore in the novel - the theme that “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Another important aspect that can be seen in Santiago is a combination of the Hemingway hero and the code hero for the first time in his works. The priest in A Farewell to Arms, Harry Morgan in To Have and Have Not Wilson, the guide in “The Short Happy Life of Francies Macomber, Jack, the prize fighter in the short story Fifty Grand, are all protagonists in the world of the code heros who embody certain qualities and ideals that are not attainable or within the grasp of the Hemingway hero. The code hero usually stands as ideal, a character that balances the defeciencies in the Hemingway hero and corrected his stance. Santiago is the perfect code hero.

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