The Old Man and the Sea

What is the point of having the tourists on the terrace believe the skeleton of Santiago's fish is a shark?


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This scene illustrates the tourists' inability to understand or see what is before their eyes. The skeleton is there for the viewing, but the tourists have no idea what they're seeing..... no appreciation for the great feat Santiago had performed.

“What’s that?” she asked a waiter and pointed to the long backbone of the great fish that was now just garbage waiting to go out with the tide.
“Tiburon,” the waiter said. “Shark.” He was meaning to explain what had happened.
“I didn’t know sharks had such handsome, beautifully formed tails.”
“I didn’t either,” her male companion said.


The Old Man and the Sea