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In Santiago’s town, he has his way of life as an angler and dependably gets the assistance.
Sea relates to the novel as setting and a metaphor. Here it symbolizes the ―universe and the Santiago’s disconnection from the universe, his loneliness.
Despite the fact that individuals have their own character in their particular destinations and in particular time, people are powerless in the scale of galaxy and turn out to be distant from everyone else.
The old man exemplifies Hemingway's ideal of exhibiting "grace under pressure," as he refuses to submit to the overwhelming obstacles presented by the sea.
Santiago's attitude seems to be that although he is faced with tragedy -- as everyone is sooner or later in life -- he will not cease struggling.
When the sharks mutilate the dead marlin hanging off the side of the skiff as Santiago struggles to sail home, the old man fights them off as if they were attacking him.
Only when the marlin's carcass has been entirely eaten away does Santiago give up, knowing he "was beaten now finally and without remedy" (119).
Radiant and magnificent, the marlin symbolizes the perfect foe.
In a world in which “everything kills everything else in some way” (Hemingway), Santiago feels really fortunate to fight against an animal that draws out the best in him: his quality, fearlessness, love, and regard.
Notwithstanding, he bears all these obstacles without whining about it.
The author describes that Santiago felt the line painstakingly with his right hand and saw his other hand was bleeding ―shifting the heaviness of the line to the left shoulder, bowing deliberately he washed his hand in the sea and held it there, submerged, for over a moment observing the blood trail away and the relentless development of the water against his hand as the vessel moved.