Literary Themes In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

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Throughout his various works, novelist Ernest Miller Hemingway conveys a variety of literary themes accompanied with an almost indistinguishable style. As an intellectual who reached maturity during the era of World War I, deeming him a member of the “Lost Generation”, who also lived to witness the horrors of World War II, Hemingway explores themes such as fatalistic heroism, criticisms of society, disillusionment (a common theme amongst Lost Generation writers), and the meaning, or lack thereof, of life. Overall, his works delve into the complexities of human nature, using his first-hand experiences with external conflict as somewhat of a guide to exploring the even larger internal conflict within the common person. This focus on a particular set of themes stems from his belief that “all things truly wicked start from innocence.” (Hemingway) In his allegorical work, The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway utilizes metaphors and a subtle, yet simple diction to portray the story of a common literary everyman and his journey of relentless perseverance through the character of Santiago. The common style utilized within The Old Man and the Sea can be paralleled with another one of his works, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, in which the present themes of an idealized past and nature are also expressed through the utilization of a subtle, yet simple diction. Although Hemingway explores a variety of topics throughout The Old Man and the Sea, the most prevalent theme is that of relentless
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