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Santiago is a man in search or redemption. The fish Santiago catches is a great Marlin. The showdown between man and fish is more of a communion than a fight for Santiago. He regards the fish with greater respect than he does people. The fish becomes his brother; the fish represents Santiago in his youth. The Marlin represents a sense of nobility and strength that Santiago used to see in himself. It is this shred of majesty that Santiago clings to. He sees it in the fish. The more the fish fights the more Santiago feels validated. In Killing the fish Santiago finds strength and even greater love for the great Marlin.