I think that Hemingway believes that there are certain responsibilities between old people and young people, that the old should teach the young and that the young should try to take care of the old. I also think Hemingway was effected by Spanish culture.
The relationship between the old man and the boy is a good example of Hemingway's ideal relationship between old people and younger people. The old man shares his experience with the boy in teaching him how to fish and lets him learn by trusting him with jobs (Hemingway 18). The boy helps the old man fish by bring him freash bait and other things (Hemingway 13). Because they help each other, there is a strong bond between them and love each other (Hemingway 13). In their relationship, both of them are happy to help. The boy's new boss, however, does not let the boy help him (Hemingway 18), so when he helps the boy by waking him up, the boy sees it as a bit insulting rather than as help (Hemingway 17). Because the old man and they boy help each other, there is love rather than disliking between them.
I remember in Spanish class last year we talked about bull fights. Senor Ares mentioned that Ernest Hemingway, along with some other artists were fans of it. This book makes me think that Hemingway was influenced by more than just bull fights. Hemingway uses a few Sapnish words when narrating the old man's thoughts, and the story takes place in Cuba, a Spanish speaking country. Respect for older people is a big deal in Spanish culture, and I think that is shown in how the boy treats the old man. The boy beats himself up for not taking better care of the old man and having things for the old man to wash with (Hemingway 16).
The old man's relationship with the boy is really how most relationships between old people and young people should be. There is love and respect between them, and perhaps that is partially because of the influence Spanish culture had on Hemingway's values.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.