The relationship between Santiago and Manolin is very clear in the novella. This relationship is show in the way Manolin idolizes Santiago, the equality represented between the two characters, and the way the two interchange with one another.
First of all, Manolin idolizes Santiago’s ideals, despite the fact that he was now a failed fisherman cursed with bad luck. Manolin is devoted to the old man almost in a religious way. The boy apologizes from the old man because his papa forbid him to go fishing with Santiago anymore, and Santiago explains to the boy that he knows and that it is quite normal.
Secondly, the old man always expresses his equality with the boy, even though there is a huge age difference plus the fact that the old man is like a mentor to him. This equality is shown in the way Santiago accepted Manolin’s offer for beer and said, “Why not…. between fishermen.” Even when the boy offers to help Santiago with the fishing he replies that he is already a man, showing him that he has little more to teach the boy.
Last but not least, Santiago and Manolin seem to swap roles in the novella. The old man took care of the boy at sea by teaching him how to fish while the boy took care of the old man on land by brining him food and coffee.
In conclusion, it is shown through these three main points that there is a strong relation between the two main characters, Santiago and Manolin.