Since The Old Man and the Sea is the story of a man's struggle against a marlin, it is tempting to see the novella as depicting man's struggle against nature. In fact, through Santiago, the novella explores man's relationship with nature. He thinks of the flying fish as his friends, and speaks with a warbler to pass the time. The sea is dangerous, with its sharks and potentially treacherous weather, but it also sustains him by providing food in the form of dolphins and shrimp. Finally, Santiago does not just see the marlin as an adversary, he loves it as a brother. In the middle of their struggle, Santiago says to the marlin, "Come on and kill me. I do not care who kills who." Santiago's statement shows the depth of his admiration for the marlin and hints at the fundamental law of nature that unites man and animal: all beings must die, must kill or be killed. In this way, man and nature are joined in a circular system, in which death is necessary and fosters new life.
Man and Nature ThemeTracker
Man and Nature Quotes in The Old Man and the Sea
"Plenty," the old man said.