how do they feel about this relationship
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The two have a very close. I don't have the book in front of me but look at the language that Hemmingway uses between them, it is very gentle. The boy's parents do not want Manolin fishing with Santiago. The two have gone forty days without catching a fish. Santiago has become a bit of a joke to the other fishermen but Manolin is steadfast in his loyalty to the old man. Santiago and the boy share stories about baseball, the boy is his only confidant. Santiago feels his only sense of validation through the boy. In a sense Santiago becomes a Christ-figure and the boy becomes his disciple.