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Santiago imagines himself in the position of the marlin he has hooked. List two other...

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eberkhan | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 28, 2010 at 6:50 AM via web

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Santiago imagines himself in the position of the marlin he has hooked. List two other times Santiago imagines himself in this position.

 in The Old Man and the Sea

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 3, 2010 at 11:37 AM (Answer #1)

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In The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago uses direct address that functions as an apostrophe (direct address to a person or thing not present) and anthropomorphism (giving human qualities to animals).  He calls the great marlin "brother," an epithet that matches Santiago's connection to his nemesis.  Throughout the novella, there is great respect between the hunted and the hunter:

If I were him I would put in everything now and go until something broke. But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them; although they are more noble and more able. (63)

The quote above addresses the fish in the third person masculine, even though he does not know the gender.

Fish, you are going to have to die anyway. Do you have to kill me too?" (92)

AND

Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.

As the fight wages on, Santiago warms up to his opponent: gone is the third person; instead, he uses the familiar and intimate "you."  In these two quotes, Santiago addresses the fish more directly.  He bargains with the fish during a moment of crisis, and then he solemnly resolves to win the mortal battle himself.

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