Homework Help

What characteristics does he see in the fish that he recognizes within himselfi just...

user profile pic

npenn200 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 25, 2010 at 10:52 PM via web

dislike 3 like

What characteristics does he see in the fish that he recognizes within himself

i just having a little trouble with my summer reading packet. If someone could help break down the question in to little parts, it would help me greatfully:)

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 27, 2010 at 6:11 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

The second question is asking you to compare two main characters from The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago and the fish, from Santiago's point of view.  In other words, we hear Santiago call the great marlin his "brother" many times throughout the story.  What makes Santiago feel as if he is connected to this fish?  I'll give you a few ideas, then you'll be able to add any of your own thoughts and ideas. 

First, Santiago see the fish as his brother because they both love the sea.  Obviously the old man doesn't live in the sea, but he certainly spends all his time on it and has come to appreciate its signs and signals about weather and other things.  In this short novella, he certainly spends more time on the sea than at home, and he's certainly more comfortable there than at home, though neither his boat nor his house is designed for comfort.  The marlin is at home in the sea and grows strong and noble in the sea. It is his home.

Second, Santiago sees the fish as his brother because they're both just doing what they know to do.  The marlin moves and swims and blows and jumps exactly as he knows how to do--he simply reacts in the way he knows, by instinct.  Santiago once had to learn the art and skill of fishing, but now he, too, simply does what he knows to do next.  We watch him wait patiently for the next move of the fish, which he clearly knows is coming, though he may not know when.  Both are simply doing what they know to do. 

There are undoubtedly more, and I'm certain you can find them with this little bit of help. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes