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Under close inspection, people have had a hard time agreeing what to make of Santiago\'s adventure in The Old Man and the Sea. Is it just a good fish tale? One brave man, one big fish, sounds Biblical, but is it? Are we dealing with allegory, or parable, or fable? If so, what is the parallel narrative, or message, or moral? Different people have arrived at different answers, But I believe that Hemmingway is trying to show the relationship between Manolin and Santiago. How that to the world Manolin can only be one person yet to the world Manolin can mean everything.


The act of catching the fish is bound to the act of losing the fish—the red blood released by the mortal blow is the green light for the sharks. Whether he catches the fish or whether the fish snaps the line and escapes, the old man will not be able to bring the meat home. The fish is lost, either way. But the two scenarios are not equal. The man is welcomed back into the esteem of the fishermen, into Manolin\'s company on the fishing boat, into society, solely because he broke with society and went out \"too far\", out beyond all others. He gains only by losing. This old man will never again chase marlin for days on end. He won\'t have to, because for the rest of his days he will have Manolin with him not only physically but mentally because of the fact that he knows Manolin will stick with him no matter what. Even if the odds are against him, and the two of them will catch big, but not giant-sized, marlin with the relative ease known as teamwork.

 
One could also make a case that the old man has neither gained nor learned anything. He did not care when the other fishermen mocked him so why should he care if they praise him? He had Manolin\'s love before and he has it still, and the love and support of that one special person can mean so much to someone, and give them the confidence to go on. He had been a champion before, as an arm-wrestler, and knew he could be a champion again, as a fisherman even though in Manolin’s eyes he was always a champion. He was right, and has the skeleton to prove it. He had bad luck before he hooked the marlin, and he has bad luck after he kills the marlin. He was a humble man with a deep respect and empathy for his prey before he hooked the marlin, and he is still that afterwards, too. Trying to draw a lesson from the whole experience, he asks himself what it was that beat him. \"Nothing,\" is his answer. \"I went out too far.\" Does this mean he is a changed man? Is this insight? Not really. He did his best, went beyond his means, and this is the way it turned out. Bad luck.


On the other hand, is there such thing as bad luck? I mean we all might know about luck and how that works, but is there bad luck, or just fate? I mean our paths our set for us in life and everything that happens in life happens for a reason. It has a meaning, lesson, and even a story behind it. So maybe Santiago’s little experience was a lesson, a life lesson showing him that there might be obstacles in his way sometimes, but that shouldn’t stop him. Or maybe it was showing Santiago the way of teamwork, the companion ship of Manolin and himself. How the boy stood by him, how even though his parents told him to stay with the good ship Manolin helped Santiago in every way that he could. That little bit of reassurance Manolin gave Santiago could mean so much to someone, and could help someone so much in life by the fact that someone cares.


In Conclusion, I believe that Hemingway was trying to show us the strength of one man, and how one boy could be so much help to only one person. Also, how there might be many obstacles in our way sometimes but there\'s always a way around them, and there\'s always a solution.

 

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