The Old Man And The Sea Critical Analysis

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Hemingway presents the elements of failure and suffering in The Old Man and the Sea by depicting several instances of suffering and failure which the Old Man, Santiago, has to go through throughout the course of the novel. According to Hemingway, life is just one big struggle. In the beginning of the novel itself, The Old Man, is presented as a somewhat frail old man who is still struggling with his life as well as his past failures. His skiff even had a sail which bore great resemblance to “the flag of permanent defeat”, with its multiple patches all over. Throughout the novel, scenes of suffering and failure are shown several times, since the events of the novel depict the Old Man, Santiago, suffering on his boat with the real possibility…show more content…
The battle that The Old Man fights with the marlin, as well as the daunting task of defending the marlin from the countless sharks that follow the skiff, are two points in the novel where Hemingway really conveys the sense of struggling and suffering. This is how Hemingway tries to convey an underlying theme of the constant struggle between man and nature, by depicting the struggle between The Old Man and the Marlin, against all odds. The Old Man considers the fact that capturing the Marlin is such a great task for him since the Marlin is trying just as hard to evade and escape from The Old Man’s reach. Throughout this struggle, The Old Man, who eventually becomes very fatigued, keeps telling himself to push through the pain and bear it like a real man would. He pushes past the faintness and dizziness he experiences, he pushes himself to see beyond the black spots in his weary vision and he pushes past the pain in his hands to catch the Marlin which puts up a great fight against this frail old man. The Old Man’s struggles throughout the novel are predominantly Man versus Self and Man versus Nature, since his struggles are always against the seas, the Marlin and the sharks who begin to hunt him. Also, while he is traversing the seas for fish, his struggles with the pain he experiences are a large example of the Man vs Self
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