Old man and the sea
A young boy who is probably in his teens named Manolin is Santiago’s apprentice and devoted attendant. The old man first took him out on a boat when he was merely five years old. Manolin is referred to as “the boy.” Like Santiago, Manolin comes from a family of fishermen and has long admired Santiago in his trade. Although Manolin’s father has forbidden him to go fishing with Santiago because of the old man’s bad luck, Manolin nevertheless continues to visit Santiago and to help him in whatever ways he can. Manolin shows great concern for Santiago’s health, especially after he sees how Santiago has suffered in catching the big marlin.
As a mark of his friendship and respect for Manolin, Santiago has given him certain responsibilities from an early age, such as fetching bait and carrying the lines. Manolin’s own father only makes fun of his son’s relationship with Santiago saying that the old man will never catch anything. His love for Santiago is unmistakable as the two discuss baseball and as the young boy recruits help from villagers to improve the old man’s impoverished conditions. By the end of the book, however, the boy abandons his duty to his father, swearing that he will sail with the old man regardless of the consequences.
Even though Manolin appears only at the beginning and the end of the story, he is an important character. Manolin’s conversations with Santiago, and Santiago’s longing for the boy’s company when he is alone, reveal the character of both men. Santiago is seen as a loving, patient, and brave man, both proud and humble, who accepts and appreciates life, despite all its hardships. Manolin is shown to be someone who loves and respects Santiago, and who realizes that he can learn things from the old man that he cannot learn at home.
Manolin undergoes an important change between the beginning and end of the story. At the beginning he still defers to the wishes of his parents that he not accompany Santiago fishing since...