The Marlin

The character of Marlin has lots of symbolic meanings because for most of the unfolding plot readers stay with Santiago and his hooked fish. The Marlin symbolizes energy, strengths, persistence. These are the same traits which characterize the old man. The fish does not give up just as well as Santiago. Both of them are caught in a difficult tug-of-war which requires only one winner. When sharks start attacking a huge catch, Santiago feels devastated because of spiritual connection with the Marlin. Although the fish is dead, it symbolizes a strong desire for life.

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The Marlin in the Essays