The Old Man and the Sea Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea book cover
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How does Santiago show love, compassion, and respect for other people or creatures in The Old Man and the Sea? Give two examples.

Santiago shows love, respect, and compassion for the boy, Manolin, and for the sea turtles in The Old Man and the Sea. Santiago teaches Manolin to fish, shows compassion in waking him gently, and respects him enough to accept food from him with humility. He loves the turtles for their hearts that keep beating long after they are cut up.

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Santiago shows love for the boy, Manolin, who is his companion as the story opens. He teaches him to fish and shows his affection by talking to him about American baseball. He also wakes him up gently, coming into the room with the boy's cot and holding his foot gently until he wakes up. We learn that the boy loves Santiago and that Santiago loves him.

Santiago thanks the boy for bringing him food, finding no shame or loss of manhood in showing humility. He also gladly accepts the coffee Manolin brings him at the end of the book. Santiago also shows his love by letting the boy have his spear, which Manolin wants.

We also learn that Santiago loves the turtles in the sea. He feels a strong sense of compassion toward them as well as identification with them. He notes that their hearts keep beating long after their bodies are cut up. That reminds him of his own heart, which is strong, compassionate, and doesn't easily give up. He loves the elegance and speed of some of the turtles, and he respects the fact that they eat the stinging jellyfish that make his life a misery. He feels compassion for their suffering when the sharks bite off their legs and fins.

Santiago's respect, love, and compassion are woven in with his tenacity, strength, and courage to show that the former qualities are as heroic and masculine as the latter qualities.

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