In our world today we are constantly bombarded with messages of illusion and falsity, however the states in which people travel through their lives differ. Some people are suspended in a state of illusion for all their lives, only realizing their potential on their deathbed. Others have their illusions stolen from them as a child and are brought up in a world without magic and fanciful ideas. For most, we discover this passage from illusion to disillusion at a time in our lives when we need it most. Quite simply, one cannot lead a happy and productive adult life when one is oblivious to the truths of this world. This does not mean, however, that the perfect life is one free from illusions, hopes and dreams. Ideally through the process of disillusionment one will learn the importance of their dreams and hold on to the ones that make them most productive. In Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and The Sea, the main character Santiago needs this rite of passage to define and seal his destiny, and to truly understand and believe in himself. It is through this journey that he establishes limits and boundaries on the illusions he holds onto ritualistically, and yet opens himself up to the larger possibilities of life at the same time. He goes through very obvious and specific stages in his struggle, in a world of illusion, through the sacrifice and pain of the journey and into disillusionment.
Santiago is a proud man, and the world of illusion which captivates him is the only thing that keeps him going, day after day. Sadly, Santiago does not truly have confidence in himself. He attributes much of his success and failure to luck: "Eighty-five is a lucky number,' the old man said. How would you like to see me bring one in that dressed out over a thousand pounds?'"(Hemingway, 13). Santiago is so preoccupied by the idea of luck, and it seems to him that all his