The Old Man and the Sea is a novel that shows a great adventure between an old man and a great fish. The Old Man and the Sea focuses on the epic struggle between the main character, Santiago, and a marlin he hooks off the coast of his village. Santiago and the marlin are both capable of great endurance and both face their mortality and great loss in the novel, but they are distinct from each other in that the old man Santiago is consciously aware of the magnitude and meaning of their struggle. While there are many similarities between the old man, Santiago, and the marlin, the most noticeable similarity that is revisited again and again by Hemingway is the fact that both Santiago and the marlin are capable of fighting long and hard hours during being challenged. Early in the struggle with the marlin, Santiago cuts his hand on the line on which the marlin is hooked. "The old man would have liked to keep his hand in the salt water longer but he was afraid of another sudden lurch by the fish and he stood up and braced himself and held his hand up against the sun. It was only a line burn that had cut his flesh. But it was in the working part of his hand. He knew he would need his hands before this was over and he did not like to be cut before it started" [CITATION Hem58 p 56 l 1033 ]. Even though the long battle between Santiago and the marlin has only just started, the marlin pulls the line tightly in an effort to escape that the line cuts into Santiago's hand, but Santiago fights on, and the marlin continues to struggle also.
The long test of endurance continues to go on for both Santiago and the fish. Santiago's hand begins to cramp, and he becomes to be in pain while struggling to fight against the fish [CITATION Hem58 p 57 l 1033 ]. Santiago begins to eat to distract himself from the pain and to assuage the anguish, and then finally Santiago starts to talk to his wounded hand [CITATION Hem58 p 58-9 l 1033 ].