HOW IS SANTIAGO UNIQUE COMPARED TO THE OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE STORY "THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA."WHAT SETS SANTIAGO APART FROM THE OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE STORY?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1.  He is old for a fisherman.  It's a young man's business.  The younger fisherman have taunted him for being so unlucky for 84 straight days.  But, the young fisherman fish for shark livers to make a quick buck, and do not respect the sea or the fish.  Santiago's age also juxtaposes Manolin's youth.  His disciple will carry out the master's teachings when he is a man.

2.  Santiago goes far out, whereas the others stay within sight of land.  Santiago risks personal safety to land the great marlin.  He ventures into the deepest seas, far from the lights of Havana.

3.  Santiago calls the sea "La mar" instead of "el mar."  He alone knows the feminine quality of the motherly sea.  He calls the great marlin his brother.  The other fishemen refer to the sea in the masculine, showing a fierce combativeness.  And they do not fish for great fish, but sharks.  They are like sharks, scavengers of the sea.

4.  Santiago is a Christ-figure.  He alone must suffer, and his suffering must be redemptive.  Hemingway finishes the novella with Santiago carrying the mast like a cross.  The other fishermen, then, are like the Pharisees, who believe in the materialistic ways of fishing.  They do not love and do not suffer loss the way Santiago does. 

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The Old Man and the Sea

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