The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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In The Old Man and the Sea, what is Santiago's relationship with the sea?

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Tim Mbiti eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Santiago relies on the sea for his daily needs. He fishes for a living in the Gulf Stream. However, in the beginning of the story, he has gone eighty-four days without catching any fish. At the behest of his parents, his helper is forced to abandon him. The parents believe that the old man has lost his luck, but the helper feels sad for leaving the old man’s boat.

Santiago does not lose hope and continues to fish. He believes that his fortunes will soon change for the better.

“Tomorrow is going to be a good day with this current,” he said.

The old man loves the sea because he thinks of it as “la mar.” This is the name used to refer to the sea by those who love it. The old man thinks of the sea as a woman who has the ability to grant or withhold fortunes. Although he approaches the sea with high expectations, he is aware that the sea is not entitled to do him any favors.

Santiago is at home when he is at sea, and he identifies with the different creatures, as demonstrated by how...

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