specifically on marlin-the fish
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The marlin symbolizes the Old Man's ideal opponent. He is a thing of grace and honor, and he never backs down from the challenge or attempting to rid himself of the hook until he is physically exhausted. Santiago loves the Marlin and holds him in complete respect, conceding that the marlin has brought out his own best qualities in the fight between them. Unfortunately, both are dealt a blow from outsode forces........ and Santiago is forced to watch the magnificent creature he caught be ripped to shreds.
The Old Man and the Sea