"Eyes the same color as the sea": Santiago's expatriation from Spain and ethnic otherness in Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway often used expatriation as a literary device, yet critics have overlooked the fact that Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea is an expatriate. Born in Spain's Canary Islands, Santiago moved to Cuba as a young man; this circumstance has a significant impact on his social condition. The expatriate protagonist is isolated from his countrymen, ridiculed by his adopted community, and a failure at his chosen profession. To remedy feelings of loss, the old man reminisces about his homeland and adopts Cuban behaviors in language, sport, religion, alcohol consumption, and fishing, among other things. The purpose of his actions is to pass into Cuban society and achieve a new sense of identity. This article uses an analysis of the Santiago's Spanish background and Cuban cultural rites to elucidate how his expatriation affects his actions, self-image, and perspective on his community.