The awkwardness of this violent world is a challenge to these and they face every blow of misfortune with grace. All of them are men of action and can perform their jobs quite efficiently. Santiago is a fisherman by trade living in a village of simple fishermen. In the very opening lines of the novel the character of Santiago is revealed as a simple man who fishes for a living. But for three months he has to go without a fish. Therefore he is thought to be ‘Salao’ by the other fishermen. Out first impression of Santiago is that of a failure. But as we go through the novel we come across a man who is resolute, courageous, strong and undefeated.
The boy manolin still believes in the perfection of Santiago’s art. The night before his great ordeal at sea, he brings supper for him and they talk about baseball players and various wins and defeats of the day. They particularly talk about Di Maggio, a baseball players from New York. Santiago wishes to catch big fish that day, and he goes far off the shore. He is seen off by manolin who provides various necessary articles and baits.
Misfortune comes in the form of sharks. In the beginning, he keeps them away with the help of harpoon, then with his knife and afterwards with clubs, but the sharks tear every piece of flesh away and only the skeleton is left. The old man curses and abuses the sharks but everything is over now.
Santiago is a perfect ‘code hero’ – through whom Hemingway portrays the picture of ageing hero and the hardships he has to face. Santiago faces all ordeals with courage and grace.