Purpose: Persistence beats Resistance. How does Santiago's character development show this?
The old man is telling himself to stay strong and stay alert so he can catch the fish. He wants this fish and he wants the glory.
'"You better be fearless and confident yourself, old man," he said. "You're holding him again but you cannot get line. But Soon he has to circle." (Hemmingway,84)
"This is what we waited for, he thought. So now let us take it. Make him pay for the line, he thought. Make him pay for it." (Hemmingway,82)
Santiago wants this fish, and he will stop at nothing to get it. So, in return for causing his hand pain and unable to get any line, he will make the fish 'pay for it'.
HI MY NAME IS: MARLIN
"The boy saw that the old man was breathing and then he saw the old man's hands and he started to cry. he went out very quietly to go to bring some coffee and all the way down the road he was crying. (Hemmingway, 122)
One of the old man's reasons for wanting to come back to the island so bad was not so he could just prove he wasn't unlucky, but it was because he missed the boy.
"It was a great temptation to rest in the bow and let the fish make one circle by himself without recovering any line... The old man rose to his feet and started the pivoting and weaving puling that brought in all the line he gained." (Hemmingway, 89)
He is exhausted, worn down and in much pain. But he does not let resistance beat him down. He gains the strength to recover more line and get the fish in position to stab it with the harpoon.
"The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer... Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheeful and undefeated."(Hemmingway, 10)
The old man does not take good care of himself. Instead he focuses on the boy, and his thoughts. He thinks about his past actions and wants to relive them instead of dreaming of a future.