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Manolin is Santiago's only friend and companion. Santiago taught Manolin to fish, and the boy used to go out to sea with the old man until his parents objected to Santiago's bad luck. Manolin still helps Santiago pull in his boat in the evenings and provides the old man with food and bait when he needs it. Manolin would rather toil with Santiago for nothing than leave him. His family is poor but Manolin accepts the hardship. He is Santiago's disciple and, in some way, Manolin feels a sense of salvation through the old man.