"His choice had been to stay in the deep dark water far out beyond all snares and traps.... My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people... in the world."
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Santiago feels a kinship with the great marlin. Like the marlin, Santiago seeks solitude past the "snares and traps" of man. Santiago likes to commune with the creatures of deep water who understand the majesty of nature. Here Santiago need not prove himself or explain himself.