Hans: (bitterly) Hello, Santiago.
Santiago: Hello, Hans.
Hans: (sourly) There have been many rumors that you caught a 1,500-pound marlin that measured 18 feet in length.
Santiago: Yes, that is correct, but it was eaten by sharks on my way in.
Hans: (loudly) You idiot. You fish stealing, selfish, greedy old man. You caught my fish and then let it get devoured.
Santiago: It wasn't my fault, I ran out of things to defend myself with.
Hans: But you were not thinking clearly, you were crazy in the head.
Remember when you thought, "Is he bringing me in or am I bringing him
in?" (Hemingway 99). This proves that you were crazy and had no right
to bring him in, he's my fish.
Santiago: That's because I had been at sea for days fighting with a beast.
Hans: (questioning his accusations) Well, you shouldn't have gone
after it by yourself anyway, especially after being described as this,
"The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his
neck" (Hemingway 9). Either you were very brave or very stupid!
Santiago: I am not stupid. I have been fishing since I was five
years old and I knew what I was doing. I got in the fish, didn't I?
Hans: But I could see how selfish you really were when you came home
and the boy was crying and you still did not let him fish with you.
When you said, "No," (Hemingway 125), after the boy said, "Now we fish
together again," (Hemingway 125). You just want all of the glory to
yourself forever. The boy was responding to you by crying because of
your selfishness, you fool.
Santiago: That's not true, the boy cared for me through his tears
and was proud of my bravery and perseverance. I would have let him stay
with me, except for this problem, "after forty days without a fish the
boy's parents had told him that the old man was salao,
which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their
orders in another boat" (Hemingway 9). The boy was the only one who
believed in me. Everyone else believed me to be crazy or unlucky.
Hans: (softly) Oh…(more sternly) Well, that still doesn't leave out
your actions. When you said, "How do you feel, hand?" (Hemingway 58),
you should have recognized right there that you were crazy and in no
shape to pull in this fish, never the less defend it from sharks! Or
when you said, "Don't forget to tell Pedrico that the head is his,"
(Hemingway 126). That showed that you didn't even care about keeping
Santiago: No that's not true. When I was speaking to my hand it was
because I had not eaten yet. After I ate and drank I was clear and
fully capable of killing sharks. I would have fought them to the death.
The reason I gave Pedrico the head is because I felt sorry for how I
let down the fish and didn't want to bring it, or me, any more pain. It
was for the best. Just look at my hands, they are this way because of
this, "Just then the fish gave a sudden lurch that pulled the old man
down onto the bow" (Hemingway 55), then, "he felt the line carefully
with his right hand and noticed his hand was bleeding" (Hemingway
55-6). I fought with that fish long and hard, even when my body was
being physically abused.
Hans: (calmly) I am truly sorry, Santiago, I judged you wrong. You are a brave man.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1952.