The Old Man And The Sea -x

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The Old Man And The Sea -x

"The Old Man and the Sea"


The Old Man and the Sea is a heroic tale of a man's strength pitted against

forces that he can't control. It is a tale about an old Cuban fisherman and his

three-day battle with a giant Marlin. Through the use of three prominent

themes: friendship, bravery, and Christianity. The "Old Man and the Sea"

strives to teach important life lessons to the reader.

One of the most important themes in this story and in life is, friendship.

The relationship between the old man and the boy is introduced early in the

story. They are unlikely companions; one is old and the other young, yet they

share an insuperable amount of respect and loyalty for each other. Santiago

does not treat Manolin as a young boy but rather as an equal. Age is not a

factor in their relationship. Manolin does not even act as a young boy; he is

mature and sensitive to Santiago's feelings. He even offers to go against his

parent's wishes and accompany Santiago on his fishing trips. Santiago is

viewed as an outcast in his village because he has not caught any fish for

more than eighty-four days and is therefore "unlucky". Nonetheless, Manolin

is loyal to Santiago and even when his parents prohibit him. He still wants to

help his friend. Their conversations are comfortable, like that of two friends

who have known each other for their whole lives. When they speak it is

usually about baseball or fishing, the two things they have most in common.

Their favorite team is the Yankees and Santiago never loses faith in them

even when the star player, Joe DiMaggio, is injured with a heel spur. In this

way Santiago not only teaches Manolin about fishing but also about

important characteristics such as faith.

Also another important theme in this story is, bravery. In the story

Santiago's bravery is unsurpassed but it is not until he hooks the

"great fish" that we truly see his valor and perseverance. Through Santiago's

actions Hemingway teaches the reader about bravery and perseverance in the

face of adversity. He demonstrates that even when all is lost and seems

hopeless a willful heart and faith will overcome anything. Santiago had lost

his "luckiness" and therefore the respect of his village. Through the

description of his cabin we also suspect that Santiago is a widower. Although

Santiago has had many troubles he perseveres. He has faith in Manolin, in

the Yankees, in Joe DiMaggio, and most importantly in himself. This is

perhaps his greatest attribute because without it he would never have had the

strength to persevere and defeat the giant Marlin. Faith is not the only thing

that drives his perseverance. Santiago also draws upon his past victories for

strength. After he hooked the Marlin, he frequently recalled his battle with a

native in what he called "the hand game." It was not just an arm wrestling

victory for him, it was a reminder of his youthful days. His recollections of

this event usually proceeded a favorite dream of his in which he saw many

lions on a peaceful shore. These lions represented him when he was young

and strong and could overcome any challenge. Although he was an old man

and his body was no longer like it used to be his heart was still great and he

eventually defeated the Marlin. Santiago's perseverance and bravery are

further illustrated when he tries to fight off the sharks. He was a

fisherman all his life and therefore he knew that the fate of his catch was

inevitable yet he persisted to fight the sharks. The battle between him and the

sharks was about principles not a mere fish. Santiago was still a great warrior

at heart and warriors fight until the end.

One of the greatest and most obvious symbolism's in the story is,

Christianity. From the beginning of the story, the reader is shown a unique

relationship between Santiago and Manolin. Their relationship parallels that

of Christ and his disciples. Manolin is Santiago's disciple and Santiago

teaches Manolin about fishing and life. One of the greatest lessons that

Santiago gives is that of

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