Who are the main characters in The Old Man and the Sea and what roles do they play?

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As this is a relatively short story, it does not have a large number of characters, but rather features three central figures and some peripheral characters that form a background to the story but are not actively present in the narrative. The story is set in Cuba in a fishing village near Havana and all the characters in the story live in relative poverty and are dependent on the sea for their living. Much of the story takes place on the water.

Santiago: The "old man" of the title is an aging fisherman, Santiago, who has had the bad luck to have gone without a catch for 84 days despite his skill and experience. This is an economic disaster for him but also a personal one as his identity is very much wrapped up in his work and skill in fishing.

Manolin: This young boy is Santiago's former apprentice and despite his parents' disapproval, still is friends with Santiago, looks up to him as a mentor, and brings him food. Although Manolin's parents are not characters inside the main narrative they could be considered minor or background characters.

The Marlin: The large marlin with which Santiago struggles may not be human, but it is still the main antagonist of the story and an important presence.

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Perico: He is the owner of the bodega.  He is never actually seen in the story, but he provides newspapers for Santiago.  Santiago likes the papers because they report baseball scores. 

Martin: Like Perico, he doesn't actually appear in the story.  He's a cafe owner, and in his own way helps provide for Santiago. 

Manolin:  He is Santiago's apprentice.  He is fairly young (most likely a teenager).  Manolin's parents no longer want him fishing with Santiago, because Santiago is not catching any fish.  Despite his parents' wishes, Manolin still seeks out ways to help Santiago.  

Santiago: He is the protagonist of the story.  He is a Cuban fisherman that has had quite a run of bad luck recently.  He's not catching anything. He's an extremely experienced and knowledgeable fisherman.  He's proud of his abilities yet humble as well.  His struggle with the marlin is central to the story.  

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