When the reader goes on the novel, he feels that it presents the struggle against suffering and uneven happenings of life. The hero introduces himself the moral truth Santiago declares, “But man is not made for defeat, a man can be destroyed but not defeated” when he fights against the sharks.
During his fight against Marlin or sharks, he speaks many times, “I wish the boy was here, and I wish I had the boy”. The boy is a source of youth’s courage. He also remembers the help of the boy. He is compelled to hang on the line after hooking the Marlin. He thinks no one should be alone in the old age. It seems that sharks have defeated the Old Man. Santiago has failed to save his huge Marlin from sharks. But the writer wants to clarify that there is a lot of “gain” in the loss” of big fish. The Old Man is the winner against the hostile forces. He comes out of his conflict with human dignity and untended courage. He fights undauntedly and saves his honor. He is not defeated by the big fish. He fights like a warrior. He does well with all his energy, strength & courage.
For the Santiago, the image of the lions is a source of strength in his old age. Before his ordeal when the boy had left him, he dreamt of Africa when he was a boy. He heard the roars of the lions in his dreams. He no longer dreamt of storms, fights, fish women and contest of strength. Not only that, but he only dreamt of places now and of lions playing like young cats in dusk and loving them like he loved the boy. Santiago in is difficult time is supported by the memories of the lions and the boy which are the symbols of his youth times. Through the double vision of the boy and the lions he recollects the golden time of his youth and strength. This story when viewed in this way can be called as a parable of youth and age.