What can we learn from Stantiago in The Old Man and the Sea?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think one of the definite lessons that we can learn from the character of Santiago is the way that he is determined to continue fishing, in spite of his crushing and massive disappointment at having lost the big fish that he caught. Although he is shown to have given up so much and sacrificed almost everything to capture this fish, and in spite of his every efforts, he cannot save the fish from being eaten by the sharks that surround him. Yet Santiago is not overwhelmed by this failure. When he gets back, after some encouagement from Manolin, he begins to talk again about going out the next day. The very last line of the novel is very significant, as it indicates how Santiago, in spite of his failure, has not abandoned his dreams:

The old man was dreaming about the lions.

The lions refers to a dream that Santiago has had to go to Africa and see the lions. The fact that the novel ends on this sentence is very significant as it indicates that Santiago has transcended his failure and is not crushed by it. If anything, he is even more determined to go out and fish again. This is a lesson we can all learn from.

Yet the struggle to achieve one’s dreams is still worthwhile, for without dreams, a human remains a mere physical presence in the universe, with no creative or spiritual dimension. And so at the end of the story, Santiago, in spite of his great loss, physical pain, and exhaustion, is still “dreaming about the lions”—the same ones he saw in Africa when he was younger and would like to see again.

abdulwahablawal66 | Student

santiago in the text old man and the sea has a lot of leasons to be learnt from,santiago is a determined character and has the zeal to succeed when on the sea for his last fishing he was very determinede to make sure the fish he caught was unable to escape but his ill luck made him loose the dolphin.

santiago is an understanding,knowledgeable  and a very humble man which was why his jolly man manolin liked working with him.

and the most important lesson was that of living when the ovassion is loudest,when hew got to his town after his fishing,what remained was the head and bones of the dolphin fish which many people credited him for that and decided to quit fishing

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The Old Man and the Sea

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