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Symbolism in Old Man and the Sea

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  • Symbolism in Old Man and the Sea

    The novel is rich in symbolism that enhances both the plot and the Themes. The major symbol is the sea, which stands for all of life on which man must sail. In both the sea and in life, there are a number of possibilities that lie hidden from the common eye; some are gifts to be treasured and some are problems to be defeated. Neither will be found unless man embarks upon the journey. If man is lucky enough to discover a treasure (be it love or family or education), he must fight until death to retain it; if man is unlucky enough to discover an evil lurking underneath the surface of the sea (any one of life’s varied problems), he must fight it bravely and nobly until the end. In either case, it is the struggle that is all- important, and a man obtains the status of hero if he battles the sea (life) with grace under pressure. In the novel, Santiago embarks on a sea journey (life) and encounters a giant marlin (treasure). He battles nobly to earn the treasure and then fights the sharks (problems) to save it. The struggle defines him as a hero. Even though he loses the treasure (the marlin) to the sharks (the problems), he has won the sea battle (life).





    In addition, Santiago serves as a ****phor for the creative artist, someone like Hemingway himself. He is capable in his profession, has proved his talent several times before, but that is not sufficient. He has to prove it every day, for every day is a new day. Santiago’s suffering is akin to artistic creation, which is never an easy task. Even if and when a masterpiece is achieved, there is no guarantee that critics, who are no less than the killer sharks, will not tear it to pieces.


  • #2
    so so so nice
    it is perfect subject

    many thanks dear

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