Symbols In The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is full of symbolic ingredients that make the story a great read, however these symbols can be deciphered only after very careful reading. Every object that surrounds Santiago has substantial and complex symbolic meaning. Hemingway spent majority of time throughout the novel focused on the old man and his interactions with, and on the sea. The sea has a prime importance to the story, which is the main reason it is included in the title. The sea is the symbol of isolation and Santiago’s disconnect from the universe. Santiago himself symbolizes Jesus Christ and the individuals who don’t care to acknowledge the defeat in their lives, Santiago faces the ultimate challenge in his fishing career when he comes upon a massive marlin that refuses to go out without a fight, he faces this challenge with no help and no recognition. The sea is the source of income not only for the fisherman, but everyone in the village.

The lion is seen over and over in Santiago’s dreams, the image of the lion shows that he loves them just as much as he loves Manolin. He no longer dreams of storms, women, great fish, fights, strength, not even his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. Throughout the novel, largely at the beginning, the lions appear to be cubs. The young lions foretell the nice things that lie ahead for Santiago, as he embarks on his journey, once the cubs grow into lions, they symbolize a great power that induces Santiago not to surrender. When Santiago dreams of Manolin, he compels himself to defend the boy of his values, when he dreams of Lions, he tends to relax. The lions seem to possess authority and domination over him. Since the lions appear inside the beach, opposite to their environment, it shows that there is settlement in all of life.

A frequent figure within the novel is Joseph Paul DiMaggio. Joe is an all-star and Hall of Fame ballplayer for the Yankees. Though Joseph Paul DiMaggio was Handicap, He never gave up and aimed to shield all his accomplishments. Santiago acquires ambition and motivation from his admiration for the glorious player. During his fight with the sharks, Santiago uplifts himself by thinking of DiMaggio. When Santiago’s hand cramps he’s left to fight the marlin with one hand, Thoughts of giving up entered his mind, once Santiago reminds himself of the outstanding Joseph Paul DiMaggio, he continues to endure what he set to accomplish. The Legendary ballplayer symbolizes Santiago’s strength and endurance, despite his dreadful pain. The marlin is distinguished as a creature from the unknown, a creature that solely exists in a place of mystery. Once Santiago hooks on to the fish, he’s unsure of what he’s hooked on to. After Santiago finally gets a glance at the fish, as it breaks the surface of the water, he’s surprised and afraid by its massiveness.


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