"The Old Man and the Sea" was a novel that shook the literary world in the 20th Century. Ernest Hemingway's greatest masterpiece portrays an old, lonely Cuban fisherman who fishes on a skiff. The old man, Santiago, who is considered unlucky, faces his greatest opponent he could ever wish for. A giant marlin and the Old Man are locked in an agonizing battle in the Gulf Stream, with no end to this massive struggle in sight. The backdrop of this simple yet compelling novel is persistence, the human spirit and man's struggle against nature. Neither the old man nor the fish will back down. The old fisherman transcends the physical realm into the spiritual realm, his spirit flying free among the ghost less shadows. His goal was to persevere, and push his body to the absolute limit in order to achieve his dream of catching the marlin. Santiago's persistence earns him his highly sought after reward. Only through understanding the physical and spiritual world, and believing in the philosophy of making choices that affect his destiny, does he comprehend what his purpose on this earth is. .
Santiago is a wise man who finally understands his relationship with the inhabitants under the sea and how everything is interrelated. All creatures depend on one another in order to survive. The flora and fauna co-exist with one another in a form of symbiosis. "He is my brother. But I must kill him and keep strong to do it." (Hemingway 59). The Old Man .
acknowledges that the fish is his brother but before the day is over, one of them will be dead. This writer believes that Santiago compares himself to the fish, which in turn is comparing himself to nature and drawing spiritual lessons about the mind, body, and soul. All the creatures of the sea are related to Santiago in some way, and they all have some purpose. For example, in the story the old man talks about how hard birds have to work in order to get food accepts the robber birds and the heavy strong ones.