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Old Man and the Sea - Is Santiago a Hero? Essay

  • Submitted by: hudsonbrody
  • on May 20, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,025 words

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Below is an essay on "Old Man and the Sea - Is Santiago a Hero?" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Heroic Old Man


To be a hero means different things to different people. To some, a hero is a merciless, powerful warrior, to others a kindhearted pacifist. However, it cannot be denied that everybody yearns to be a “hero”. In the eyes of Ernest Hemingway, a hero was silent, and powerful. They were undeniably loyal to a person or group of people. And lastly, they were amazingly talented in some desirable field. Ernest Hemingway portrayed these traits in most of his books, and any main character that demonstrates these powerful traits is dubbed a “Code Hero”. In The Old Man and the Sea, the Old Man is the Code Hero. Santiago is the pinnacle of heroism, and demonstrates all three qualities.

It is both hinted and clearly shown that Santiago is the Code Hero. The name “Santiago” is a Spanish nickname for the Apostle St. John, who is revered in Spain as their patron saint. This is one of many small hints, but the largest clue that Santiago is indeed the Code Hero lies in the many trials undertaken by him. All of his struggles are handled in a manner suitable of a Code Hero. First, he was a silent and powerful man, and instead of verbally sharing his opinions and beliefs, he acted upon them. For example, when he is fighting the marlin, he prays. This quote “I am not religious’ he said. ‘But I will say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish, and I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre. That is a promise” (65) shows this because he doesn’t discuss his beliefs. He only acts on them. He isn’t religious because he doesn’t attend a service, but in a sense that is a discussion, or a flashing of his beliefs. Instead, he merely acted in a religious manner, and prayed. Although he technically says “I am not religious”, this is an exception, as praying is an act that involves some form of communication. Also, he has a very deep respect for the creatures of the sea. He shows this on numerous occasions, especially when he thinks about...

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