Use of Irony in “the Old Man and the Sea”


Do you see the use of irony at the conclusion of The Old Man and the Sea?


Yep, there is.

Santiago spends eighty-four days without catching fish and loses his apprentice and best friend, the boy. Eventually, he catches eighteen feet long marlin, which proves him a skillful fisherman because many fishermen might have never seen such a huge marlin in their whole life. However, irony lies in the situation that soon after catching marlin, he returns with nothing but only with a skeleton of marlin. Although, sharks have destroyed the marlin and Santiago gets only bones, despite that he wins back the respect of other fishermen. Thus, defeated and exhausted Santiago is ironically victorious, like when proprietor praises him by saying,

“What a fish it was,” the proprietor said. “There has never been such a fish….”