The old man and the sea : Manolin and Santiago
Uploaded by sujata2123 on Jul 16, 2005
The Old Man and the Sea
The role of Manolin and his relationship with Santiago
The central event of The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago’s three days sailing on the gulf stream, has an independent meaning as the old fisherman struggles with the forces of nature. The struggle acquires significant social meaning when Santiago’s conversation with Manolin are added to the beginning and the end of the fishing tale. Without the framing conversations Santiago’s returning to the shore with the mutilated carcass to the Marlin seems to be as act expected of a fisherman, the conversational frame, however, establishes a relationship between Manolin and Santiago that makes Santiago’s act of returning with marlin carcass explored with significance. Santiago wishes to establish himself as a fisherman to be respected by his fellow fishermen. The narrative frame pointedly tells that many younger fishermen have made fun of Santiago when Manolin treats him to a beer at the Terrace. By returning with the carcass, Santiago exhibits his skill and power to the disparaging young fishermen.
In the other ways too the young man called mandolin plays a central role in the novel, so central that Hemingway could easily have called his novel The old Man And The Boy. Santiago wants to reestablish himself as Manolin’s tutor. As the opening chapter of the frame makes clear after forty fishless days Manolin’s parents conclude that Santiago is unlucky and order Manolin to fish with another fisherman. In as much as Manolin came to fish with Santiago he was only five years old, without drawing him as Santiago’s apprentice or pupil is no in consequential, especially considering Santiago’s lack of family and intimate friends. By returning to shore with marlin’s carcass, therefore Santiago establishes his credentials as fisher men parexelence, under whose tutelage Manolin should fish. Santiago’s status is doubly confirmed by the information he extracts from Manolin is the novel’s end frame: when he asked Manolin how fisher man caught, Manolin confeses that they caught a mere four fishes, “One the first day, one the second day and two the third.” Manolin adds no qualifier, indicating that the four he and his fishermen caught were but small fry when compared to Santiago’s giant. Another motive behind Santiago’s return to shore with the...