THE MARLIN (The Baited Fish)
The baited fish is also a character in the novel. Santiago calls it by the title of brother. Santiago is the hero of the story and the marlin that he has hooked is the hero of the sea. The fish takes old man’s skiff for hours and hours and thus heroically proves his greatness equal to that of Santiago. This huge fish lives one mile down in the deep sea. The fish is very claver; he puts the hook on one side of his mouth. The old man fears that he would jerk again and again and if he jerked too often he would throw off the hook from his mouth.
We learn a lot about the marlin from the old man. It is bigger than his boat. It was a big scythe like blade and purple strips. It was a huge fish eighteen feet long. Its weight was fifteen hundred pounds. It had purple and silver colour. The fish is very attractive and dignified. To the old man he appears experienced. He is a male fish. The only flaw with him is that he does not know that his adversary is a single-handed weak old man.
In order to catch fish the old man had to say prayers. He also promises to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin de Cobre if he caught him. The old man admires him throughout and justifies his right to kill him in return, and says, “I don’t care who kills who”.