How does Manolin comfort Santiago at the end of The Old Man and the Sea?

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Manolin provides immediate comfort to Santiago by giving him a coffee and providing him with someone to talk to other than the sea.

In a less tangible sense, Manolin comforts Santiago by providing him with redemption and purpose. Despite the fact that Santiago lost the massive fish to the sharks,...

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Manolin provides immediate comfort to Santiago by giving him a coffee and providing him with someone to talk to other than the sea.

In a less tangible sense, Manolin comforts Santiago by providing him with redemption and purpose. Despite the fact that Santiago lost the massive fish to the sharks, Manolin gives him hope for the future. In fact, Manolin is a common nickname for Manuel (Spanish for Emmanuel, a name which means "the redeemer"). Several times Manolin redeems the old man. He confides his faith in Santiago to teach him how to carry on his legacy. He tells the old fisherman, "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you." He emphatically states confidence in Santiago again at the end of the story.

Throughout his struggle with the fish and the sharks, Santiago expresses that he wishes that Manolin were there with him. He is all alone at sea, but this loneliness is part of his life. Manolin is the only real companion he has left in his life. When he sees Manolin upon his return, it is clear that he is happy to be back in the company of his young friend and protégé.

Furthermore, Manolin provides the old man with a legacy. This is symbolically portrayed when Santiago gives the boy his spear. In this, we can see that Santiago's true purpose was not to catch the fish but to pass on his legacy to the younger generation. With the passing of the spear, we can see that Santiago has accepted and realized this.

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When the Old Man gets his boat on the shore, he must carry the mast himself because everyone is asleep. He must rest several times and this seems to be an allusion Christ carrying his own cross. The Old Man must therefore, bear the mast; analogously, a symbol of his triumph and defeat. 

Manolin arrives at Santiago's home in the morning. Seeing Santiago's wounded hands, Manolin begins to cry. He goes to get coffee. Others see the remains of the fish's carcass; word has spread about how large the fish must have been. Manolin decides to start fishing with Santiago again. Santiago tells him no, that he is unlucky. Manolin replies, "The hell with luck" and adds that he will bring luck with him. 

Manolin and Santiago talk about future plans. Manolin directs Santiago to heal his hands and his chest. Manolin does not let Santiago see him cry. Manolin comforts Santiago by concentrating on their future together: 

You must get well fast for there is much that I can learn and you can teach me everything. 

Despite Santiago's triumph/defeat, Manolin gives the Old Man a renewed sense of purpose as his mentor/teacher. 

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