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The Old Man & The Sea
By: Savannah Silke
Don't let obstacles get in your way. Santiago did not give up when the sharks attacked the marlin, when his hands started hurting while pulling the line and connecting to DiMaggio.
The sharks symbolize obstacles. Hemingway says, "When the old man saw him coming he knew that this was a shark that had no fear at all and would do exactly what he wished." (Page 101) Santiago had to use every resource to get rid of this obstacle. Just to save a marlin.
His hands are a symbol of determination. Hemingway states, "The speed of the line was cutting his hands badly, he had always known this would happen and he tried to keep the cutting across the calloused parts and not let the line slip into the palm nor cut the fingers." (Page 83) Santiago was determined to catch a fish. Once he sees the marlin, he does not want to let it go. So he holds the line as tight as possible and bears with the pain.
DiMaggio is a symbol of strength. Santiago says,"Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with a fish as long as I will stay with this one?" (Page 68) Whenever Santiago thinks of DiMaggio, it makes him stronger mentally. He compares himself to DiMaggio and it makes his level of desire for the marlin rise more.
The old man changes over the few days in the book. Santiago went on a fishing trip alone. Later in the book, he catches a marlin. His goal was to not lose that fish and he would do whatever it takes to hold on. He always looked up to DiMaggio. It made him stronger, what kept him striving for the marlin. "Do you believe the great DiMaggio would stay with the fish as long as I stay with this one?" (Page 68) Santiago eventually fought through the sharks that came for the marlin. Then he went back to his shack as the tourists adore and question the marlin.
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