In Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," Hemingway tells the story of a Cuban fisherman named Santiago who personifies both courage and endurance. No matter how badly his old body aches, Santiago stands brave and displays great persistence when he goes out to sea in search of a big catch after having not caught any fish the previous eighty-four days. The eighty-fifth day, however, was different when Santiago decides to sail his skiff beyond the island's shallow coastal waters and ventures into the Gulf Stream. On this occasion, no amount of pain or hunger lessens Santiago's determination when he comes head to head with what could be the greatest catch of his life. .
Santiago personifies endurance throughout "The Old man and the Sea." Santiago endures hunger, poverty and excruciating pain. He prefers to pretend that he owns "a pot of yellow rice with fish " instead of begging. He endures the elements and the pain with a great dignity and determination by telling himself that "every day is a new day. "This character trait is also very evident when Santiago battles a large marlin and must fight off several subsequent shark attacks. During these battles, Santiago shows great endurance and incredible strength. All that Santiago had in his boat to eat and drink was a bottle of water and some strips of fish. During his three day battle trying to reel in the large marlin, Santiago must endure constant pain from the fishing line which he used to hold the giant marlin. .
Whenever the giant fish lunges or leaps, the fishing line cuts into Santiago's sunburned skin causing him a great deal of pain. Santiago, who is sleep-deprived and nearly delirious, manages to pull the large marlin in close enough to kill it with his harpoon. As Santiago sails on with the fish, the marlin's blood leaves a trail in the water which attracts several sharks. The first to attack is a great Mako shark, which Santiago manages to kill with a harpoon.