The Old Man is Santiago. He had gone 84 days without any catch. Manolin, a young boy, wanted to fish with him again but Santiago wanted him to stay with other fishermen because they're lucky. The young boy had gone fishing with him on the first 40 days but his father and mother did not want him to fish with Santiago anymore because he is now finally salao (a worst form of unlucky).
Santiago taught Manolin how to fish and this is why the young boy love him so much and would love to go fishing with him again so he could learn more. But Santiago went on fishing without the young boy. Santiago did not give up. His hopes are still up. He had gone fishing all by himself but this time farther than the usual. He caught the biggest Marlin he ever saw after three days in the sea. When he got back, fishermen saw it and was amazed, too. But they couldn't do anything about it since the meat was eaten by sharks along Santiago's way home.
During Santiago's sail, he kept saying and wishing the boy was with him to help him with the big fish which pulled him farther from the island for three days. He didn't give up. He caught the biggest fish but he was so tired. He got scars but still continued to work. His perseverance is amazing. He is still strong as his younger self.
The story somehow explains how fishermen's lives are. The life in the sea is difficult but, according to Santiago, it is better to catch fishes than to catch the sun or moon. His determination to catch the biggest fish was shown during those three days of sailing. He had less water and food but he stayed strong because he knew he's still as strong as his younger self. When he got back, Manolin said that he must rest because he still wants to learn more from him once he wakes up.
His skills as a fisherman was put to test. And he still got those skills -- perseverance, determination, and faith led to a fruitful outcome. He wished too many things while in the sea. One is wishing the boy was with him. It could have been easier if the young boy was with him. When he got line cuts, he said: "Pain does not matter to a man". He is very brave to not letting go the fish even if he felt sick, tired and hungry.
Santiago is a good example of a brave man. Outright as he is, he never gave up his standards that "man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated." He knew that being salao isn't long term that perseverance is key to success. As cliche as it may sound, I learned that when the going gets tough, it's worthy to get going because there will definitely be a fruitful outcome. It may not be the best outcome you could ever think of but at least your best actions and decisions and ideas could come up with something that could inspire others, make them happy, and even satisfy your self.
You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it's not a sin to kill him or is it more?
This book is definitely a must-read. There are other things to consider from the story. It could be religion-related arguments. But I'd rather keep it to myself. Read this book and you will be inspired, I promise. :)