13. THE ROLE OF THE MARLIN
Q. The old man says, “Fish, I love and respect you but I will kill you before this day ends.” Explain. OR Is the old man justified in killing the Marlin? OR Discuss the relationship of the old man with the fish. OR Write a note on the old man’s attitude towards his adversary (The marlin) OR The fish is a symbol of ideal life for the old man. Elaborate.
Answer: The Marlin is an important character of the novel. It plays the role of Santiago’s adversary. It is the symbol of an ideal life for the old man. Santiago is wonderstruck to see its bulk and beauty. He says: “I love you and respect you very much but I shall kill you before the day ends.” It is very brave fish. During his fight with the marlin, it continues swimming without changing its course. When it gives a powerful jerk to the line, Santiago falls down. After a struggle of two days and nights, the old man feels that it is going to kill him. He feels tired but in the end he is successful in killing the Marlin. After killing the marlin, he takes pity on the marlin. He says: “Fish, I am sorry for having killed you.”But he kills the Marlin in self-defense. He says: “I killed him in self-defense.”
We can say that Santiago is justified in killing the marlin because if he had not killed the marlin, it would have been impossible for him to restore his name as a great fisherman. (Words: 187)