The Old Man In The Sea Essay

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The Old Man In The Sea Essay, Research Paper People are interested in other people: how the act, where they go, what they think about in any number of situations. That interest is one of the reasons many people enjoy reading stories about imaginary people who seem real. Characterization is the technique a writer uses to create lifelike characters. A writer may use various methods of characterization, but all characters are described as either dynamic or static. Dynamic characters change in and throughout a novel, while static characters stay the same during a novel. Santiago, from Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man in the Sea, is a determined, loyal, and wise character, who affects the novel by being a static character. Santiago is characterized as determined, loyal, and wise

early in the novel. Santiago has a dream of going beyond the normal fishing waters and trying to catch a big fish. Santiago is determined to do this even at his own life’s expense. When Santiago is talking to the boy early in the novel, he tells him, “Far out to come when the wind shifts. I want to be out before light” (Hemingway 14). This describes the old man’s determination to catch a big fish, even though he has not taken a fish in eighty-four days. Another important trait that describes Santiago early in the novel is his loyalty. Santiago is very loyal to his friend, the boy, and Santiago will do anything to help the boy prosper. Santiago shows further loyalty to the boy when he repeats that he wishes that the boy has come with him on his fishing trip. An example of

this occurs when Santiago says, “‘I wish I had the boy” (Hemingway 49). Santiago also shows great loyalty to the sea and fish as well. The old man calls the flying fish his friends, and he respects everything living in the sea except the Portuguese man-of-war. The last important trait of Santiago’s is his knowledge and wisdom. Santiago is a very wise man, and he knows a lot about fishing and life itself. An example of the old man’s knowledge is his understanding of fishing. Santiago says, “I think so. And there are many tricks” (Hemingway 15), describing how he can use his knowledge to make up for his lack of strength. Santiago shows more experience and knowledge when he is able to uncover the direction a school of fish is moving by just looking at a bird.

Santiago’s traits play a significant role in the novel. Santiago is a static character and does not change during the novel. Santiago is a simple Cuban fisherman, but he has feelings and determination. An example of Santiago’s determination is his unwillingness to give up on his goals. Santiago has gone without catching a fish for eighty-four days, but he still continues to fish. Santiago has a goal of sailing beyond the normal fishing grounds to go fishing after a great fish. This is an example of his determination to outdo the other fishermen and to restore some of the respect that he has lost. During Santiago’s big fishing trip, he spots a school of flying fish and tries to follow them because he thinks that his big fish might be near them. He shows his determination to

catch his big fish when he says, “They are moving out too fast and too far. But perhaps I will pick up a stray and perhaps my big fish is around them. My fish must be somewhere” (Hemingway 38). Later in the novel, Santiago’s determination still has not changed; he has hooked a large marlin and is determined to do whatever he can to catch it. This is shown when the author states, “But four hours later the fish was still swimming steadily out to sea towing the skiff, and the old man still was braced solidly with the line across his back” (Hemingway 50). Santiago’s attitude does not change even after he has been chasing the fish for over two days. Another example of Santiago’s characterization is that he longs for the boy at his side throughout the novel. On the third