In The Old Man and the Sea, friendship is always based on mutual respect. The old man’s relationship with the boy is characterized as "love," and Manolin expresses deep admiration for the old man’s fishing abilities. The old man also finds brotherhood with certain creatures on the sea; this type of relationship is based on similar characteristics such as nobility or determination. Lastly, this text draws no distinction between friend and enemy. In fact, the two are repeatedly associated. The marlin is both the old man’s friend and his enemy, as is the black man in Casablanca. The two roles are tied together, again, with the idea of respect.
The old man only forms friendships on the basis of respect.
The old man’s relationships with the creatures of the ocean eclipse his friendship with the boy in importance.