The Old Man and the Sea
In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemming, an old man named Santiago struggles to catch fish after 84 days of no catch. He hooks a marlin and fights with it for days but eventually captures it after much enduring and suffering. Unfortunately, sharks devoured the marlin as he takes it back to port, which leaves Santiago empty handed after his incredible escapade. The main character, Santiago, is a very interesting character, possessing the dominant traits of pride determination, and endurance. Santiago’s three dominant traits pride, determination, and endurance allow this old man to survive his adventure at sea.
Even though he has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish and become the laughingstock of the village, Santiago continues to have pride in himself. This is shown in the beginning when Manolin, the young boy that took care of the old man, offers to get Santiago some food for dinner. Even in his squalid existence, Santiago is still proud, saying that he has fish to eat at home, even thought he doesn’t and preferring hunger instead of shame. After killing the marlin, he ponders why he killed the marlin; was it out of pride or something more? He thinks, “You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?” He feels guilty that he killed the marlin, which he sees as a brother, and admits he killed the marlin largely out of pride. But without this pride, he would not have tried so hard to catch the marlin or fight the sharks; it’s pride that enables him to endure. The depth of his pride is shown by his commitment to sailing out further than usual. However, Santiago’s pride is not arrogance, rather it is self-respect for himself.
Santiago’s ability to endure is the only reason he catches the marlin. Endurance, the main...