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Why is Manolin necessary to the book The Old Man and the Sea? (Why is he important?)The...

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ecreff890 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2010 at 6:17 AM via web

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Why is Manolin necessary to the book The Old Man and the Sea? (Why is he important?)

The Old Man and the Sea is a story of a single character, Santiago. Other than the old man, Manolin is the only human being who receives any kind of prolonged attention.

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dstuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 21, 2010 at 2:01 AM (Answer #1)

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In The Old Man and the Sea, the character of Manolin provides an opportunity for dialogue and an opportunity for characterization of Santiago to be revealed. 

Most notably, conversation between the two reveals that Santiago is considered unlucky by the villagers, but is reverred as a great fisherman by the boy.  We learn that Santiago has gone many days without a fish--so many that Manolin is no longer allowed to go fishing with him.  But we also learn that the boy would rather go with Santiago, and that Santiago will not give up and stop going.  We also learn that Santiago is undernourished, and possibly in danger of starving, at least eventually.

Through Manolin the reader learns that Santiago is a great fisherman, and though the boy's opinion is unsubstantiated when the words are first spoken, they provide foreshadowing when the boy turns out to be correct. 

In addition to dialogue and characterization, Manolin's taking care of Santiago also creates pathos for the old man.  The reader sees Santiago through the boy's eyes, and thus feels sympathetic toward him.  The reader feels the same sympathy that Manolin does. 

Often, scenes that feature a particular witness create more emotion than scenes that occur in relative isolation.  When Manolin reacts as he does to Santiago's final victory/failure, the reader's emotional reaction is heightened by Manolin's reaction.      

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hellohimawari | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 5, 2010 at 12:41 AM (Answer #2)

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Part 1

Ernest Hemingway’s ‘old man and the sea’ is novella based in Cuba. The protagonist of this novella is Santiago- an aged fisherman who was once known for his brilliance and has lately been somewhat of a failure. He is a courageous, adventurous and determined individual who has a deep attachment with the sea. His close companion and student Manolin is like a son to him. They share an unconventional relationship which is characterized by common interests, master-apprentice bond and great love for the sea and adventure. The opening and closing of the novella, through dialogues, brings out all that they share and exchange and how that mutuality has a deep impact on their characters individually.

The novella describes the voyage of Santiago and puts light on his mind and actions and apart from the narration of the same, the unfolding of their relationship is the core interest of the reader. The human voice is found only in context of their relationship. Manolin is Santiago’s only human company and it is only with him that he exchanges emotions. The factor of their concern towards each other draws the reader towards the story. Without their relationship any dialogue within the novella would have been impossible. And as dialogue plays an important role in bringing out the drama, expression and enhancing fiction, their relationship invokes inquisitivity throughout the reading experience.

Manolin i.e. ‘the boy’ has learned fishing from Santiago ‘the old man’ ever since he was five. Apart from the age difference the traits they show are similar like love for adventure, love for the sea and stories and baseball. This gives a better understanding of their character as individuals. Santaigo has pakyed the role of a mentor and Manolin has thus developed love for him due to the close contact they share from his forming his forming years. Manolin learns all about fishing, the fishes , the sea, baseball and Santiago’s stories. The words of wisdom he hears have shaped his character. He reciprocates this through sincere listening, concern and emotional support for Santiago. He also provides inspiration and hope that comes from his out in return to the inspiration which he derives from Santiago’s stories.

 

 

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hellohimawari | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted September 5, 2010 at 12:44 AM (Answer #3)

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The novella describes the voyage of Santiago and puts light on his mind and actions and apart from the narration of the same, the unfolding of their relationship is the core interest of the reader. Manolin is Santiago’s only human company and it is only with him that he exchanges emotions. The factor of their concern towards each other draws the reader towards the story. Without their relationship any dialogue within the novella would have been impossible. And as dialogue plays an important role in bringing out the drama, expression and enhancing fiction, their relationship invokes inquisitivity throughout the reading experience. Manolin i.e. ‘the boy’ has learned fishing from Santiago ‘the old man’ ever since he was five. Apart from the age difference the traits they show are similar like love for adventure, love for the sea and stories and baseball. This gives a better understanding of their character as individuals. Santaigo has pakyed the role of a mentor and Manolin has thus developed love for him due to the close contact they share from his forming his forming years. Manolin learns all about fishing, the fishes , the sea, baseball and Santiago’s stories. The words of wisdom he hears have shaped his character. He reciprocates this through sincere listening, concern and emotional support for Santiago. He also provides inspiration and hope that comes from his out in return to the inspiration which he derives from Santiago’s stories. Manolin plays the role of providing support and care to the protagonist of this novella. He is ‘the helping hand’ to the old man; but this remains unspoken between them.  Manolin regularly helps him carry his fishing equipment ever since he left ‘their’ boat on his parents’ persuasion. Despite this, they share a man-to-man relationship. When Manolin buys the old man beers he marks his entry to manhood. Santiago is pleased at this development and this shows that ‘the boy’ is really ‘his boy’. Manolin like a close companion knows all about Santiago’s struggle. In the opening of the novella he also tells the old man that he is the best fisherman in the world. Even when Santiago is back from tragic voyage, Manolin is told by a fisherman that Santiago has caught the marlin, when Manolin deeply and casually says that he knows it, implying belief in his mentor. The role of such understanding is also seen in accepting each others’ limitations. Manolin accepts Santiago’s enchanted exaggeration and Santiago also accepts the temporary distance between them. Their conversations are very casual and no ego barriers are seen from Santiago’s side. The nature of their relationship breaks the stereotypes of major relationships between important people in a fiction. They aren’t lovers or kin but still the symbiosis makes most of what they are in the novella. Christian symbolism in the novel is also seen in this aspect. Santiago is Spanish for St. James, who was chosen by Jesus Christ to propagate Christianity. Christianity’s focus is on faith and similarly, the old man also asks the boy to have faith- in context of getting the catch or baseball. The ‘disciple’ Manolin has faith in his mentor and it comes true in the end of the novella. He not only reassures the old man but also decides to reunite with the so-called ‘salao’ irrespective of what his parents or the fisherman community thinks- to learn from him and go about the sea as they did for years.

 

 

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