Essential Quotes by Character: Santiago
Essential Passage 1
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.
Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, has gone for almost three months without catching a single big fish. Manolin, a young boy once apprenticed to Santiago, is moved against his will by his parents to another fisherman with better luck. At the end of forty days, Manolin’s parents have decided that Santiago's luck is so bad he might be under some type of curse. Manolin, however, is devoted to the old man, always coming back at the end of the day to help Santiago stow his gear. Santiago’s skiff (a small boat powered by either oars or sails) is old and sea-ravaged as well. The sail, much patched with whatever material Santiago can find, is symbolic of defeat, but Santiago refuses to concede.
Essential Passage 2
Now is no time to think of baseball, he thought. Now is the time to think of only one thing. That which I was born for. There might be a big one around that school, he thought. I picked up only a straggler from the albacore that were feeding. But they are working far out and fast. Everything that shows on the surface today travels very fast and to the north-east. Can that be the time of day? Or is it some sign of weather that I do not know?
It is early in the morning on the first day of Santiago’s quest for a big fish. He has spotted a bird flying over a school of tuna. Santiago hopes that this is a sign that a bigger catch is near, one that would follow the school of small fish to feed. His mind wanders, wondering about the outcome of his favorite pastime, baseball, that he follows in the newspapers and on the radio. He wishes that he had brought a small radio with him, but he decides that it would prove to be a distraction. His primary mission is to catch a big fish, the first after eighty-four days. This is his destiny, to...
(The entire section is 1111 words.)