The son of a fisherman, Joe DiMaggio is considered one of the most memorable baseball players of all time. For many of the fans who saw him play, he epitomizes grace and excellence. His playing style makes him one of the icons of the Americans.
In the novella, The Old Man and the Sea, a powerful recurring memory of the old man, besides that of the boy, is Joe DiMaggio, the great baseball player. Santiago is a great admirer of DiMaggio. His memory supplies fresh energy to Santiago in his struggles on the sea. He feels a special affinity with DiMaggio, whose father was also a fisherman, and wishes to take the great player fishing. DiMaggio is his role model in his efforts to achieve excellence. Therefore, he wants to do things perfectly so that DiMaggio may approve of his performance:
But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel.
More Notes: The Old Man and The Sea
Santiago does not know much about Joe DiMaggio’s bone spur but feels that it must be very painful. On the other hand, Santiago’s hands and back hurt equally badly, and this gives him some satisfaction. After killing the great marlin, the old man feels happy and thinks that the great Joe DiMaggio would be proud of him for his unbeatable attitude.