The Enduring Spirit through Inevitable Struggle
In The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, the endurance of the one’s spirit through constant suffering demonstrates that the success and the importance of the human soul are determined by perseverance, rather than the physical losses and gains in life. Although Santiago is unable to bring the marlin back to land as a whole, the relentless demonstration of his worthiness through his fight with a noble opponent shows that his internal strength sustains, despite the hindrances that befall him. Santiago’s unwavering spirit motivates him to persevere through life’s hardships, to find worthiness in a fair manner, and to recognize man’s everlasting legacy. Through the ability of the human spirit to remain undefeated regardless of the external failures and achievements of life, Santiago demonstrates man’s role in a world by way of persistent living with the knowledge of life’s inevitable obstacles.
Although Santiago’s weakness of old age provides him with self-doubt, his internal determination prevails and guides him to persevere through his journey in accomplishing his goals. Santiago does not let his old age hinder him from achieving his ambitions, and uses the memories of youth and strength to reassure himself of his ability to succeed in times of struggle. By constantly reminding himself to “have confidence” and to “be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel,” Santiago does not let his physical limitations, prevent him from capturing the marlin (Hemingway 68). Santiago’s previous encounters and the “many tricks” that add to his experience helps gain the extra encouragement he needs to succeed in his objectives (Hemingway 14). With this knowledge of how to react to past interferences and hardships, Santiago continues to hold on to the line that connects him with his challenger, even though his hands started to bleed.