Explain why you think Ernest Heminingway included this story about arm wrestling. What purpose does it serve in the story?
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Santiago's need to prove his worthiness is unique to each instance: "the thousand times he had proved it mean nothing. Now he was proving it again. Each time was a new time and he never thought about the past when he was doing it" (66). This can be read as a broad statement about nobility, one which holds that nobility is not a really a quality of character but of actions. The great arm-wrestling match he had at a tavern in Casablanca is an extension of this nobility he constantly seeks. Santiago recognizes his necessity of having one's worthiness recognized by others and by extension, validate his manhood.