Finding Santiago

17 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015 Last revised: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by F. E. Guerra-Pujol

F. E. Guerra-Pujol

University of Central Florida; Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

Date Written: June 1, 2019


The Old Man and the Sea is a timeless classic. One of Ernest Hemingway’s most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago--a poor, proud, old Cuban fisherman--and his solitary struggle against the forces of nature in the deep Gulf Stream waters many miles off the coast of Havana. But who is Santiago, really? Artists have re-imagined the old man countless times since the novella’s publication in 1952, and so shall I. First, I shall survey several of my favorite artistic portraits of Santiago. Next, I will piece together the actual origins of Hemingway’s immortal anti-hero. Lastly, I will offer up my own scholarly re-interpretation of Santiago’s epic struggle by exploring the inner workings of the old man’s mind through a probabilistic or Bayesian lens.

Keywords: Bayes’ Rule, Hemingway, Santiago, Subjective Probability, The Old Man and the Sea

JEL Classification: B49, D81, Q22

Suggested Citation

Guerra-Pujol, F. E., Finding Santiago (June 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

F. E. Guerra-Pujol (Contact Author)

University of Central Florida ( email )

Orlando, FL 32816
United States


Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico ( email )

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