The Old Man and the Sea
Santiago: Transcending Heroism 11th Grade
In Ernest Hemingway’s work of literary brilliance, The Old Man and The Sea, Santiago finds himself pitted against a beauty of nature – a beast in the eyes of man. At first glance transcending the task of slaying the marlin is what makes Santiago a hero, but in retrospect there is much more than simply killing the brazen fish that defines Santiago’s true role as a heroic emblem. Through conquering his conflicts against the sea, its inhabitants, and even himself, Santiago proves that “a man can be destroyed but not defeated,” and ultimately cements his place as a unique hero in literature (103).
From the first line of the novella, a beaten tone is introduced and Santiago is pitted against his struggle with defeat. “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish;” instantly the audience is made aware of Santiago’s first of many obstacles (9). Santiago claims to be ridden of any former luck he may have had and the few background characters of the novel help to further express this opinion. His fellow fishermen pity him, and his one side companion is even forced to abandon him because of his infamous...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1141 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8811 literature essays, 2353 sample college application essays, 386 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in