Character Analysis of Santiago from the Old Man and the Sea

Topics: The Old Man and the Sea, Protagonist, Ernest Hemingway Pages: 3 (1117 words) Published: July 25, 2012
Character Analysis of Santiago
Santiago, a character in Ernest Hemmingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, is a very interesting character who is especially worthy of an in-depth character analysis. By making Santiago really the only important and developed character, Hemingway focuses the mind of the reader on this one character, which allows the reader to fully concentrate on the actions and characteristics of Santiago. Hemingway also writes in such a way that, instead of offering up an analysis, there is no definite interpretation of the character, which allows the reader to depict the character as they think proper. Hemingway starts off the book with some of Santiago’s physical traits. He gives enough to be descriptive, but not so much that the reader can’t fill in the blanks with his or her mind. The reader is constantly reminded of the fact that Santiago is elderly because throughout the text he is commonly known as “the old man”. Santiago is described as a “thin and gaunt” (9) man with “deep wrinkles in the back of his neck” (9) and “brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer…on his cheeks” (9-10). He also has old scars on his hands, and bright and cheerful eyes that “were the same color as the sea” (10). He also fairly strong and the reader can see that that when Hemingway further describes Santiago’s physique. He writes, “The boy took the old army blanket off the bed and spread it over the back if the chair and over the old man’s shoulders. They were strange shoulders, still powerful although very old, and the neck was still strong too and the creases did not show so much when the old man was asleep and his head fallen forward” (18). As for clothes the old man wears trousers, an old and faded shirt with many patches, and he wears no shoes.

Santiago also has a very interesting personality. Basically everyone considers him “saloa, which is the worst form of unlucky” (9) because he has not caught a fish for over 80 days. Despite this, the old man remains...
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