Importance of DiMaggio Character In The Old Man And the Sea

Joe Di Maggio, a champion baseball player, has been very influential on the life and personality of Santiago. It was very early in the novel when Santiago tells Manolin of baseball and his favorite team i.e. Yankees. He likes DiMaggio in the team. The old man expresses his wish of taking DiMaggio to fishing with him. It seems DiMaggio is his hero. Santiago likes to think about DiMaggio whenever he can. He thinks of him in leisure time at home. He thinks of him during his fight with the fish: "But I think the great DiMaggio would be proud of me today."

Santiago gains hope and encouragement by thinking of DiMaggio. During his fight with the sharks, Santiago encourages himself by thinking of DiMaggio: "I wonder how the great DiMaggio would have liked the way I hit him in the brain". The legendry character of DiMaggio appears a silent companion of Santiago.

Joe used to play for the Yankees. He was in mid-thirties. He was out of form as well. Critics wanted him to retire but he did not. In September 1950, Di Maggio returned to form and won a number of matches single handed. Santiago not only idealizes him but also gains hope from him. Here Joe Di Maggio's returning to form includes the meaning "once again. Santiago expects the Yankees to win their eighty fifth game of the season. And they win. Santiago believes that he can catch a big fish on the eighty fifth day because Joe Di Maggio done so.