The Old Man and The Sea

by Ernest Hemingway

Character analysis

Santiago, from The Old Man and The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, suffers terribly throughout the book. In the beginning pages we learn that he has gone 84 days without catching a fish. He is now the laughingstock of the small village he lives in. A young boy named Manolin, Santiago's apprentice, finds a lucky boat. Santiago went out on the lucky boat to catch his first fish in 84 days, so he could redeem himself. Despite the fact that Santiago finally catches a marlin his problems do not go away. A new conflict now arises when he kills the marlin. The blood spilled into the water and that attracted many sharks that he had to constantly fight off with anything that he had. "The old man drove the knife on the oar into the juncture, withdrew it, and drove it in again into the shark's yellow cat-like eyes" (84). Lastly the fish was attacked and Santiago lost the fish and his luck.

Plot Development

Ernest Hemingway uses characterization and theme in The Old Man and The Sea to help develop the plot. Characterization is used to develop the plot and is found in the characterization of Santiago. For example, Santiago is given the lucky boat by his apprentice Manolin and has a chance to go out and catch a fish with him, but instead he goes out on his own because he wanted to accomplish it by himself. This shows the perseverance of Santiago and also shows that he believes in himself. Theme is also used to develop the plot. One theme of the novel is perseverance. This is shown in the novel when Santiago gets the chance to go out in the lucky boat. The people of the village all believe that Santiago is unlucky because he has not caught a fish in 84 days out at sea. Many others would have given up but Santiago goes out on the 85th day and tries to catch a fish. He catches a marlin, but then sharks begin to attack him. Santiago doesn't give up. He kept fighting off the sharks and tried to keep the fish.


I would recommend The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway because it is an easy read Sea story. I enjoyed this book because I am not a big reader, but I still was able to understand and enjoy it.