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An overview of the character santiago in old man and the sea by ernest hemingway

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. James, who is the great fisherman also considered by some religions to be the brother of Christ, and he appears both as a God and a father figure to the boy Manolin.

One can see the spirit of love in this old man through the description of his eyes. Hemingway definitely captures the character of this fisherman, painting a picture of joy, and a positive attitude.

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The eyes being an allusion of his soul, like the sea, only reflect the surface of the waters of his soul. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach.

Hemingway thus concludes that no one really knew the ability, or the culmination of victories he had achieved in his life. Therefore, Santiago needed the boy and his parents to know his capability—that he was the best of fishermen, and worthy to teach their son the ways of the sea.

Yet their son was growing up, and his connection with Santiago seemed almost equal in time spent. Now, this boy is the only human being that is close to the old man—the only personal relationship that he has left in his life. Though Santiago had was not a religious man, when he was fighting with all of his might to win the victory over the great Marlin, he did find himself in prayer.

Interestingly, Santiago also fell several times going up the hill getting to his shack, an indication that his strength had been spent—even as Jesus fell under the weight of His cross.

Write a character sketch of Santiago from The Old Man and the Sea.

However, Manolin is determined to take care of him until his health returns, and at end of the novel the old man is again dreaming of the young lions, which represent smaller measures of strength and courage. Ironically, considering the evidence that Hemingway may have based his novel on an actual seaman whom he went fishing with while in Cubathe fictitious character Santiago could have lived a long life.

If his example was that of this real Cuban fisherman, Captain Gregorio Fuentes, he lived quite awhile, because Captain Fuentes was in good health until his passing in May of 2002, at 104 years old. Unfortunately Ernest Hemingway died in 1961, after which Captain Gregorio Fuentes swore never to fish again.

The Old Man and the Sea

However, the boy was far from relating to the pain and struggle the old man had been through. Sensing that Santiago has gone to such extremities for his sake, he is almost as broken as the disciples of Jesus after seeing his bruised body being taken from the cross—Manolin could not stop crying.

He lived life to its fullest, and admired others that had also achieved success through work and dedication, such as DiMaggio. He always did his job to the best of his ability, yet knew how to stop and have a good time, drinking a beer and listening to a baseball game.

The Old Man and the Sea Characters

He had a reserve of strength that he related to through the vision of the young lions on the beach in Africa—carefree and without fear. Though he was poor, he was rich. Though he was alone, he was loved, and through his love, he was undefeated. Ultimately, Santiago represented a man full of strength, and similar to Christ, displayed the love a Father can have for a son—this is the character Santiago had, and who he was.