The relationship between the old man and Manolin in “The Old Man and The Sea”.


The Old Man and The Sea (1952) is an iconic novella composed by the great American novelist Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961). In Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” Santiago is an old fisherman who has gone 84 days without catching a fish. 

Manolo is a young boy who used to accompany Santiago on his fishing trips, but his parents now think that Santiago is cursed and forbid him from going out with the old man. But Manolin felt comfortable keeping close contact with Santiago. They are best friends, they are loyal to one another. Their deep relationship is discussed through several perspectives.

1. Mentor and Apprentice: 

The old man, Santiago, is a seasoned fisherman and has been teaching the young boy, Manolin, to fish since he was five years old. Manolin has learned a lot from Santiago, and Santiago cares for Manolin and wants him to succeed in his own fishing career. Despite the fact that Manolin’s parents have made him work with a more successful fisherman, Santiago continues to mentor him, and they maintain a close relationship. Actually Manolin helps him to keep alive by his service. Here we find him saying, 

“The boy keeps me alive, he thought. I must not deceive myself too much.”

2. Father Figure and Son: 

Santiago has no children of his own, and Manolin looks up to him as a father figure. Santiago, in turn, loves and cares for Manolin as if he were his own son. They often share stories and experiences, and Santiago gives Manolin advice on life and fishing.

3. Respect and Admiration: 

Manolin deeply respects and admires Santiago for his skill and determination as a fisherman. Santiago, in turn, is proud of Manolin and his potential as a fisherman. They share mutual respect and admiration for each other.

4. Loyalty and Commitment: 

Despite the fact that Manolin’s parents have made him work with a more successful fisherman, Manolin remains loyal to Santiago and continues to help him with his fishing even though he is not supposed to. Santiago, in turn, is committed to catching a fish and proving his worth as a fisherman, not only for himself but also for Manolin.

More Notes: The Old Man and The Sea

5. Generational Gap: 

Santiago is an old man while Manolin is a young boy. Despite their age difference, they form a deep and meaningful relationship built on mutual respect and admiration.

6. Deep Friendship and Companionship: 

Santiago and Manolin share a deep friendship and companionship that goes beyond their love for fishing. They enjoy each other’s company and often spend time together even when they are not fishing. They have a strong emotional bond that is based on mutual respect, trust, and affection. The affection of Manolin for Santiago is found in the following line,

“He went out very quietly to go to bring some coffee and all the way down the road he was crying.”

7. Hope:

Despite Santiago’s long streak of bad luck, Manolin remains hopeful that he will eventually catch a big fish. He encourages Santiago and reminds him that he is still a great fisherman, even when the odds are against him.

8. Dependence:

 Santiago relies on Manolin for emotional support and physical assistance. Manolin helps him with his fishing gear and brings him food and water when he’s out at sea. Santiago, in turn, shares his knowledge and experience with Manolin, and the two form a codependent relationship.

9. Triumph:

When Santiago finally catches the giant marlin, Manolin witnesses his triumph. They celebrate together and this shared experience of success strengthens their bond.


Overall, the relationship between Santiago and Manolin is one of deep mutual respect, loyalty, and affection. They share a strong emotional bond that goes beyond their love for fishing, and they see each other as mentors, father figures, and friends. Despite the challenges they face, they remain committed to each other and their shared passion for fishing.

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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