Obstacles can be the most annoying part of anyone's life. From small ones such as a detour to larger ones like a disease. Everyday people either overcome these obstacles or they fall victim to them. This has no exception in The Old Man and the Sea where Santiago faces many difficult obstacles he has to over come.
In The Old Man and the Sea Santiago faces many challenges such as the size of his boat. In the story he only has a 12 foot long "skiff" to fish in. After reeling in his colossal marlin he faces a huge obstacle; the fact that the fish is bigger than the boat.“He had seen many that weighed more than a thousand pounds and he had caught two of that size in his life, but never alone,” (63). If Santiago had gone fishing in a larger boat ex. a battleship then the size of the fish would not have mattered. He could have hooked onto Moby Dick and not had to worry but anyway. Santiago uses his resources to overcome this obstacle and ties the marlin to the side of the boat. This gets past the first obstacle but exposes him to the next.
After Santiago ties the marlin to the boat he faces his next obstacle, the sharks. “When the old man saw him coming he knew that this was a shark that had no fear at all and would do exactly what he wished,” (101.) Santiago had to spear the fish with his gaff to kill it, the resulting wound started to bleed and attracted all of the sharks in the surrounding area. Santiago only had a harpoon, a knife and a broken oar to defend his catch with. He kills 2 sharks with his harpoon, another 2 with his knife and finally wards off a few more with the paddle. Again if Santiago had been more prepared ex. RPH(Rocket Propelled Harpoon) he could have easily defended his catch without even breaking a sweat. Because Santiago did not have an RPH he used his available resources and his wit the overcome obstacle number two.
Santiago faces his final obstacle after he wards off the sharks. He is now faced with the daunting task of returning from 150 miles out at sea with a 1,500 lbs. marlin dragging from his tiny boat. If Santiago had a motor on his boat then he would have gotten back to shore in a fraction of the time saving time and effort. Because Santiago has to row all the way back he actually passes out in his boat miles from the main land. If it wasn't for other fishermen he would have never been found. This is the one obstacle that Santiago can't overcome in the story.
Santiago overcame 2 of the 3 biggest obstacles in the story. His boat was much too small, there were sharks that tried to eat his marlin and he had to row 150 miles back to shore. By using his resources he was successfully able to overcome most of these obstacles. If Santiago wasn't so resourceful or he wasn't as determined and just gave up he probably wouldn't be alive in the end of the book.