The Old Man and the Sea

By Ernest Hemingway

Character Analysis

Santiago, the protagonist in "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway is an old man that has been down on his luck for 84 days. He has been going out to sea returning with nothing in hand. He was referred to as a salao, the worst form of unlucky. He is "thin, with deep wrinkles on the back of his neck, he had scars and blotchy skin." Santiago showed much pride and motivation during this title. He showed motivation when he hadn't cause a fish for many days. He still didn't give up and tried to catch his fish of a lifetime. He showed pride when everyone laughed at him and said he couldn't catch more fish. Also he "killed the fish for pride because he was a fisherman." This showed that his pride is very strong and will not be shattered without effort.


A theme of "The Old Man and the Sea" is perseverance and patience. During his fishing trip, Santiago had to remain focused and calm in order to capture his fish of a lifetime. Without patience he may not have caught his fish and would remain a "salao" for much longer. If not for perseverance, Santiago may have given up on trying to catch the fish when the times got rough. One last theme would be defeat. Even though he had caught the fish, the difficulties from the sharks on his way back home ate the fish and returned him with nothing in hand.


The setting throughout the book "The Old man and the Sea" changes over the course of the book. Over the 3 day period, Santiago begins his journey in a small town in Cuba where he begins setting up for his trip ahead of him. He then sails out to sea to find his catch. In the end Santiago returns to his home town in Cuba.


The main conflict throughout the book is Man vs Environment. Santiago has to face many challenges when sailing off to sea such as the sharks. The Sharks ruined his catch and gave him many difficulties on his travel back home. Also the environment treated him rough when he was catching his fish. It made him travel and kept him from sleeping from a period of time. Overall, the environment itself made Santiago's fishing journey much more challenging than what it could have been


Overall, I thought that the book "The Old Man and the Sea" was very confusing and added many symbols that you needed to understand to get a meaning of the book. At times I felt like many of the words had no meaning to the story line. Although I did not like it much, I feel that if you can read it thoroughly and understand its deeper meanings, it would be a better novel.