The role of Manolin and his relationship with Santiago
The central event of The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago’s three days sailing on the gulf stream, has an independent meaning as the old fisherman struggles with the forces of nature. The struggle acquires significant social meaning when Santiago’s conversation with Manolin are added to the beginning and the end of the fishing tale. Without the framing conversations Santiago’s returning to the shore with the mutilated carcass to the Marlin seems to be as act expected of a fisherman, the conversational frame, however, establishes a relationship between Manolin and Santiago that makes Santiago’s act of returning with marlin carcass explored with significance. Santiago wishes to establish himself as a fisherman to be respected by his fellow fishermen. The narrative frame pointedly tells that many younger fishermen have made fun of Santiago when Manolin treats him to a beer at the Terrace. By returning with the carcass, Santiago exhibits his skill and power to the disparaging young fishermen.
In the other ways too the young man called mandolin plays a central role in the novel, so central that Hemingway could easily have called his novel The old Man And The Boy. Santiago wants to reestablish himself as Manolin’s tutor. As the opening chapter of the frame makes clear after forty fishless days Manolin’s parents conclude that Santiago is unlucky and order Manolin to fish with another fisherman. In as much as Manolin came to fish with Santiago he was only five years old, without drawing him as Santiago’s apprentice or pupil is no in consequential, especially considering Santiago’s lack of family and intimate friends. By returning to shore with marlin’s carcass, therefore Santiago establishes his credentials as fisher men parexelence, under whose tutelage Manolin should fish. Santiago’s status is doubly confirmed by the information he extracts from Manolin is the novel’s end frame: when he asked Manolin how fisher man caught, Manolin confeses that they caught a mere four fishes, “One the first day, one the second day and two the third.” Manolin adds no qualifier, indicating that the four he and his fishermen caught were but small fry when compared to Santiago’s giant. Another motive behind Santiago’s return to shore with the Marlin carcass is to allow Manolin to resolve his dilemma whether to continue to obey his father or to declare his discipleship to Santiago. When Manolin assets in the end frame, “Now we will fish together again” Santiago merely asked what will your family says to that Manolin answers “I don’t care.”
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In the opening frame mandolin is still an irresolute young boy, expressing his wish to fish again with Santiago. The old man acknowledges the boy’s will but tells him to stay with the boat and fisherman following his father’s orders, saying that it is a lucky boat. When mandolin protests that he and Santiago fished their way out of an 87 days luckless period before, Santiago assumes him “I know you did not leave me, because you debted.” When Manolin places the blame on his father’s orders, Santiago again accepts that father’s action as “quite normal” which draws Manolin’s criticism of his father, “He has not much faith.” To that Santiago agrees asserting, “But we have.” And asking “Haven’t we?” This conversation is significant, although Manolin claims to have faith in Santiago, his obedience to his father shows him unwilling to act on that faith, regardless of the out come. In the story’s opening frame therefore Manolin pays only his weary old tutor, all indecisiveness vanishes. The end frame shows him propelled in to manhood, giving orders, taking charges of the situation as any true believer would of his or her injured leader. Santiago needs to recognize not only as a skilled fisherman but also as a father figure. In fact Santiago’s actions with regard to Manolin are unmistakably paternalistic, as can be seen during his ordeal on the sea when he repeatedly wishes that mandolin were with him.
A Commentary on Man's Faith and his Guilt Archibald MacLeish raised many thought provoking questions in the play J. B... The Book of Job had already asked some of these questions, while others were very original and insightful. MacLeish offers many powerful thoughts on the relationship between man and God, some of which are disturbing to consider. Nickels lost his faith in both God and man. He ...
In fact, Santiago’s aggressiveness towards the sea as woman which some critics are characterized as zeaise, sense more that offset by paternal bond between Santiago and mandolin. Mandolin proves his love for the old man by patiently waiting at the shore to assist Santiago on his return from each day’s fishing. Readers find in the closing conversation between Manolin and Santiago a touching relationship between a young boy and a old man who together make up the most vividly realized characters in The Old Man And The Sea.