The Old Man And The Sea Analysis

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The Old Man and the Sea (1952), a Pulitzer-Prize winning novella by Ernest Hemingway, is the story of Santiago, an elderly Cuban fisherman, who struggles with a marlin far off the coast of Havana during a fishing trip in September 1950. Hemingway lived in Havana in the 1940’s, and his personal experiences in a fishing community appear to flow into the rich imagery used to describe Santiago’s daily life, giving them a sense of authenticity. Santiago goes 84 days without catching a fish, and the parents of Manolin, his younger apprentice, force the boy to go fish on a more successful boat. However, Manolin, a loyal companion, continues to help Santiago out in any way he can. Santiago’s relationship to Manolin and the struggles he endures in his epic battle with the marlin are both depicted using religious references. Hemingway uses christological imagery throughout the novella in order to provide well-known references to encourage readers to compare Santiago and Christ’s experiences of teaching, pain, and sacrifice, when it comes to the depths one may go in pursuing one’s calling.
The novella begins describing the length Santiago struggles with catching a fish alone in his boat. Hemingway references forty days, which is a timespan that is often used in biblical narratives as times of trial or testing for an individual. For example, the Great Flood lasted forty days and forty nights, and Jesus spent forty days in the desert. In Santiago’s “first forty days” fishing his
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