Old Man And The Sea

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade September 2001

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The relationship of a mentor and novice is one that is well known throughout the world. The novice looks up to his or her mentor. They understand what they are teaching and value it greatly. In the story The Old Man and the Sea this relationship is shown between Santiago and Manolin.

Santiago is an old fisherman who has dedicated his life to fishing. Yet, Santiago's luck has ran short for the past couple of weeks. After several attempts Santiago has not been able to catch one single fish. Manolin is a boy who lives on the Island of Cuba near Santiago. Manolin works for the old man and looks up to him. He realizes that the man's luck has ran short and that he has been unsuccessful however he has still chosen to look up to him. Manolin helps Santiago out in every way he can. He buys him beers, provides him with food, and even spends time with him when he is lonely.

The reason he does this is because the old man whether he knows it or not is the boy's mentor. He is the person he learns from. Manolin helps the man with his fishing equipment he goes out on the boat with him and believes that he can catch a fish and he can succeed. This is the kind of determination that we rarely see in most adults however here it is shown in a boy. Not only is the relationship between the man and the boy one of mentor and novice but one of friendship and companionship. Most mentors aren't emotionally involved with their students. This in the way that they rarely to activities together, hang out, or are just plain old friends. Yet, in this book it shows that even though the old man is teaching the boy he is also his best friend.

Mentor is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Student is defined as one who makes a study of something or an attentive observe. In either of these definitions does it mention the word friend? No, not at all, they don't even mention something that could make someone infer that a mentor and student could be a friend. Yet, in the novel The Old Man and the Sea Manolin and Santiago created a new definition to those words and in their definition(s) they do mention the word friend because that is exactly what they are.