Essay On Symbolism In The Old Man And The Sea

711 Words3 Pages
Lena Warren
January 7th, 2017
Writing 9/10
Old Man and the Sea Essay
The Old Man and the Sea : The symbolism of the Marlin In the literary fiction, The Old Man and the Sea, written by Ernest Hemingway, creates a battle between a fisherman and a marlin, presenting the fisherman as the ideal man. The successful fisherman, Santiago, sets out onto the sea to find his big break, in this case he encountered the marlin. The battle between Santiago and the marlin was much greater than a fisherman trying to catch a large fish. The marlin caught by the fisherman, symbolizes Communion, crucifixion, and redemption. The marlin has conveyed symbolism of Christ and Communion, making a connection to the symbolic ritual of The Last Supper. The main battle
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The crucifixion image Hemingway has created, is a symbolic piece between Santiago and Christ. The fisherman “felt the pull of the fish and then felt with his hand the progress of the skiff through the water” (89). Santiago doesn’t flinch at the pain when the fishing line cuts through his hands, resembling Christ’s mark of disgrace through his bloody palms. “Fishing kills me exactly as it keeps me alive” (106). The pain he is feeling is killing Santiago, which is an internal feeling but the creatures he is killing keeps him and many others alive causing an external feeling or condition. Hemingway portrays the old fisherman as the crucified saint when the sharks arrive to strip away the marlin. When Santiago uses the harpoon, the shot is similar to the sound of the nails being driven into the hands of Christ. Moreover, the marlin creates a feeling of redemption to the successful fisherman, ending his unlucky streak of eighty-four…show more content…
“A man can be destroyed but not defeated” (103). The old man makes the comparison between destruction and defeat, making the audience question if he is defeated or destroyed by his pain or pride. Santiago saw the marlin as a great loss, but the sharks took the fisherman’s glory when they stripped away the marlin for its flesh. The fisherman’s view of losing the marlin and the battle against the sharks creates the vision of the glass being half empty, in a rhetorical structure. “He is beautiful and noble and knows no fear of anything” (106). The fisherman brings to realization that they are respectful, beautiful, and fearless creatures that should be feared by him and the other fishermen. Hemingway points out the shifting tension between life and death, glory and defeat, and loss and gain throughout the
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