Literary Themes In The Old Man And The Sea

878 Words4 Pages
Aditya Rupam Arora
XII A IBDP
Literature HL (B)
08/09/2014

Literature Test
Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway

If one of the roles of literature is to provide insight into human nature by what techniques and to what degree did your texts give you such insights? Discuss with reference to Old man and the Sea.

The Old Man and the Sea is an exploration of fundamental human nature in its rawest, most unadulterated form; it is the story of a man’s solitary conquest against his infinitely more powerful demons, and it is an exploration of how this conquest serves as an exposition to his innermost human identity. There are several themes in the novel that explored with the purpose of linking them to a unified concept of how human nature works, such as pride, honor, faith, aspiration and suffering.

The novel however, is much more than a study of the human psyche. It is a symbol of mankind’s oldest contest: his unending battle against the forces of nature. It is a literary reminder of the principle of survival of the fittest; of “do or die”, and it ultimately, it is a metaphor for the circle of existence: all that is, will cease to be and then will be again.

Themes in the novel play a vital and significant role. Throughout the story, pride and honor for example, are featured over and over again as the catalysts that drive Santiago’s determination to conquer over the marlin. This pride, that stems from his pedigree as a champion fisherman is what gives him the perseverance to
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