Books and Movies Reviews

Conflicts in Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea is as deep as the ocean. There are many conflicts occurring in the novel, some subtler than others; but each contributes to Santiago's suffering and reveals different depths of his character. Two examples of conflict are between Santiago and the marlin and between Santiago and the other fisherman. Santiago suffers a great deal through these hardships, but with strength and determination, he is able to overcome them.
The main conflict of the story is between Santiago and the Marlin. Hefirst sees the Marlin when it jumps up. The marlin is two feet longer than the skiff and very strong. When it tries to swim away, it pulls the skiff with it, far out to sea. For days the old man sits alone in his skiff, battling the marlin. Through this, he is able to overcome hunger, weakness and a cramping left hand. "You are killing me, fish, the old man thought" (92). At one point Santiago believes he is too weak and that the fish might actually kill him. This is when he is able to find his strength and reel in the now tired fish. He harpoons the fish and stains the ocean with its blood.
Another conflict exists between Santiago and the other, younger fisherman. They think that Santiago is salao because he has not caught a fish in 84 days. They do no respect him because he is old and unlucky. They do not recognize or venerate his skill. In fact, they ridicule him. This affects Santiago's confidence and isolates him further. Santiago does not have any friends other than the boy because no one respects him. When Santiago comes back from his trip with the gigantic marlin carcass with shark bites in it, they realize that Santiago has great skill and determination for his age and they begin to respect him. When the old man tells the story about the Campion, he reveals that being honored is important to him. His pride is bruised by the lack of respect by the other fisherman. His honor is finally restored wh…

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