Old Man and the Sea Section 3 (pg. 41-82)
One of the sticks on Santiago's lines dips down deep. A fish pulls on it and Santiago immediately knows which fish he has hooked: a giant marlin, 100 fathoms below, which is eating the sardines around the line. The fish begins to drag the skiff far out into the northwest of the Gulf. As he's towed by the fish, the old man says: "I wish I had the boy." Page 45
Santiago thinks this fish might kill him, but four hours later, he is still being towed. Havana is no longer visible in the distance. Night is falling, and Santiago begins to admire the marlin and to contemplate catching him: "He is wonderful and strange and who knows how old he is, he thought. Never have I had such a strong fish nor one who acted so strangely." Pages 48
Santiago repeats his wish that the boy was with him. He has made a decision to go far out alone into the Gulf, a decision like the marlin's - to go beyond the traps and snares. He feels a sense of equality with his catch:
"My choice was to go there and find him beyond all people. Beyond all people in the world. Now we are joined together and have been since noon. And no one to help either of us." Page 50
Santiago has to remind himself that he does not have the boy with him and must struggle against the fish himself. The marlin pulls the line and cuts Santiago's eye. He announces to the fish that he will struggle against him until he is dead. The fish continues to pull Santiago further into the Gulf. The greater and longer the two struggle, the more Santiago respects his adversary: "Fish, I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends." Page 54
Santiago begins to talk to the birds and hopes for their company. The old man is lonely, tired and in pain. His hand begins to cramp from all of the tension of the line and he has to force himself to eat the tuna he caught to alleviate his pain and give himself strength. He talks to his hand as if it is a friend. The marlin continues to pull the line. Santiago realizes that the fish is two feet longer than the skiff. Though the man has seen great fish in his day, he has never seen one this big by himself.
Santiago, who was never religious, begins to pray so that he may catch and kill the fish. He begins to feel guilty about his struggle with the fish, but wants to prove to himself and the fish what he can endure. He wishes he could fall asleep and dream of the lions. He begins to wonder why he only dreams of lions at this stage of his life, but quickly refocuses on the marlin. He starts to think about the Big Leagues in baseball and is motivated by thoughts of his hero DiMaggio: "But I must have the confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel." Page 68
To give himself confidence, Santiago recalls a time when he was in Casablanca and challenged a man to an arm wrestling match. After a very long struggle, he became el Campeon, the champion. From that experience, he knows that he can take on any competitor, if he wants victory badly enough.
The old man catches a dolphin and has food for the evening. His hand begins to hurt less and he feels prepared to make it through the night. Santiago gets some rest on the boat. He thinks to himself:
"The fish is my friend too. I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I'm glad we do not have to kill the stars." Page 75
He starts to imagine impossible feats like killing the moon or the sun and feels lucky that his task, in relative terms, is much simpler. Though he is sad to kill the fish, it doesn't stop him from doing it. The marlin and other sea creatures, according to Santiago, are his brothers and he has to kill his brother.
Santiago forces himself to eat the dolphin he caught to give him the strength to endure the battle. He falls asleep, still cramped, and waits for the lions to appear in his dreams. He is happy when he sees the lions in his dreams again.