Old Man and the Sea
May 1, 2013
Old Man and the Sea Essay
Does the Character Santiago Show the Same Characteristics as Its Writer Earnest Hemmingway??
Sometimes a character can reflect its writer’s characteristics. In this case, the old man (Santiago) reflects the personality of its writer, Hemmingway. Hemmingway clearly shows that he molded his character by the similar lifestyles and desires. Even their attitudes were very alike.
To prove it, we can start with their lifestyles and how Santiago lived on a small coast town in Cuba which is where Hemmingway wrote the book, Cuba. Next, from the title “The Old Man and the Sea” we can see that he was an old man, whereas Hemmingway was also an elderly man when he was writing this book. Hemmingway into fishing almost exactly like Santiago loves to fish. Hemmingway often fished off the coast of Cuba like Santiago.
Next, their practically identical desires. One would be that they both loved to fish as I have mentioned. Another example would be Santiago’s love to “read the baseball” as entertainment. Hemmingway apparently ‘relied on baseball analogies’ in his writings that some say prove his love for baseball. The old man, Santiago, also admires the sport (baseball), especially Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees.
After reading the first paragraph you can probably tell how Santiago was struggling with not being defeated. Not catching any fish for 84 days straight, yet he still strives to continue and sails out again careless of his so called “bad luck”. He is not only old, but also without food, alone, and has exhausted his energy level. Still he does not let defeat win and believes that he will catch a big fish not through luck but his own experience and perfect skills. As Hemmingway is person who is “wounded but strong”, thick skinned, and finds joy in facing ruin and death, yet stays undefeated.
If you go back to when Santiago was at sea and was longing for the boy, Manolin, to there with him: “I wish the boy was here” and “I wish I had the boy”. Then think of how the old man cared and treated the boy almost as if he were his own. Some in the book even thought the old man was the boy’s grandfather. At the time Hemmingway had separated himself from his son, Gregory. He apparently had blamed Gregory for the death of his wife, Pauline, and they split ways never to see each again and never did. Hemmingway showed the same longing for his son as the old man’s longing for the boy’s presence. As you read this book you will see how much the old man loved the boy. Just as if you read Hemmingway’s letters to Gregory showing just how much he loved his son dearly and how he deeply regrets losing him. This similarity of emotion is too identical.
Hemmingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea with the old man having many of his own characteristics including, the old man’s love for fishing, baseball, undefeatable attitude, and especially his fatherly love toward the boy.