“I shouldn’t have gone out so far, fish,” he said. “Neither for you nor for me. I’m sorry, fish.” (109)
Here we have Santiago once again personifies the fish. He feels bad about killing the fish, because after all the talking to the fish he had done up to this point he had grown attached to it. He even considers using the fish’s nose as a sword to fight off the sharks so he would be fighting alongside his friend.
The book does not end well for both Santiago and the fish. As the story progresses, sharks relentlessly and repeatedly attack the marlin, and Santiago desperately and repeatedly tries to fight them off. First with the harpoon, and after he looses that with an oar with a knife attached to it, and after that breaks he attempts to beat the sharks with the other oar.
And bed, he thought. Bed is my friend. Just bed, he thought. Bed will be a great thing.
Although it may seem that Santiago is a student in this excerpt, that is not the case. He has been in a boat, without proper sleep or any form of rest or food, for almost three days. Here we see him almost going crazy while fantasizing about his bed.We see a pattern of Mesodiplosis and Anaphora, with the word bed being repeated each time. This, not only emphasizes the word bed, but emphasis Santiago’s longing for an actual form of rest.
He could not talk to the fish anymore because the fish had been ruined too badly. Then something came into his head. “Half fish,” he said. “Fish that you were. I am sorry that I went too far out. I ruined us both. But we have killed many sharks, you and I, and ruined many others. How many did you ever kill, old fish? You do not have that spear on your head for nothing.” He liked to think of the fish and what he could do to a shark if he were swimming free. I should have chopped the bill off to fight them with, he thought. But there was no hatchet and then there was no knife. (114)
Santiago has taken the talking to the fish thing to a whole new level, and is now, not just talking to “half fish,” but dreaming about the good times half fish and him could have had together if half fish was not dead. I’m starting to believe that Hemingway is doing this, either to continue the heavy implication that Santiago is extremely lonely and desperate , or to have the reader realize that Santiago is completely insane.