On the very first page we introduce the character of manolin. This boy is the pupil of Santiago and has been learning the ‘Tricks’ of fishing from him. When Santiago fails in catching any fish, he is driven away by his parents. So Manolin joining other fisherman to join other fishermen to catch a fish. The boy is sad to part with the old man. The boy is emotionally attached to old man because “ the old man had taught the boy to fish and the boy loved him”. The old man is a hero for the boy so he is devoted to him. He helps him and serves him like a son. He offers the old man a beer, brings sardines and fresh baits for the old man.
The boy has a great love for old man. He thinks him the best fisherman. He takes care of his needs every time. Manolin’s love for Santiago natural and spontaneous. He has deep personal sense for him. He talks to Santiago lovingly in spite of the age difference. Manolin is very careful for the service of Santiago. He looks after his shack. Each morning, he waits for his returning. He serves coffee to old man when he returns from the fishing. He always consoles the old man in his desperation and tells that “ now we fish together again”.
The boy is an important character of this novel, though he does not play an active part in the adventure of the old man. In fact, this character has been drawn to the atmosphere of the story. He fulfils a vital emotional need and sympathy. The old man misses him very much throughout the story. Santiago considers the boy as a source of comfort and help.
The boy symbolizes the old man’s youthful strength. He is the constant reminder of youth age, courage and bravery for the old man. He becomes a source of inspiration for the old man. He admits “ the boy keeps me alive.
He has a strong faith in the old man. He hasn’t materialistic approach. He wants to stay with old man despite the fact that he thought to be ‘solao’. He values human relationship above materialism. Manolin is an idealist like Santiago. He has developed his relationship with Santiago without material purpose. Morality and devotion is prominent in his character. His belief in love, loyalty and respect is very deep. Manolin is very respectful to his parents and also to the old man.