Old Man and the Sea
, Ernest Hemingway has sent his character, Santiago, on the sea to recover his value amongst the society that mocks him. This alienation from society is a catalyst to the resolve of Santiago. Santiago’s journey lasts for five days, but on the fourth day his life is replenished by the death of the marlin. Santiago’s pride drives him to tasks thought unachievable, and without his pride the battle would have never of been wagered. Pride in this novel is the driving force and the sole reason for conflict. It’s also the sole reason for Santiago’s triumph.
Santiago’s journey is symbolic of the cycle of life. When something is gone something of equal worth is gained. When Santiago finally slays the marlin it liveliness is something to be admired, but at the same moment it represented the climax of Santiago’s fishing career, and it’s decline henceforth. The decline of Santiago’s career is carried on by Manolin who wishes to learn his teachings despite his parent’s wishes which also epitomizes cycle of life. The death of the marlin also represents the life it gives to the old man. His value is reinstated by the death of the fish, and that reinforces the theme that every loss has a gain. The victory is achieved on the fourth day and the number four means the cycle of life. The theme of mortality is heavily apparent in
Old Man and the Sea as it chronicles an element a man has no possession over. Santiago is on the brink of death and has no resources on his boat and manages to succeed thus representing the life cycle. “
Although this critical stance/impression isn't entirely convincing, Hemingway certainly appears to be interested in the battle between life and death.
His novella shows how death can invigorate life. If we compare
The Old Man and the Sea with
Hemingway's study of bullfighting in
Death in the Afternoon
, we see how killing and death brings men to an understanding of his own mortalityhis own power over it.” this author suggests the death of the fish strengthened the bond of Santiago and the marlin. He also explains that perhaps Santiago’s killing of the marlin had him question his worth, and the vanity of his actions. This questioning emphasizes the theme of environment and it’s offerings, and whether or not human comforts should impact our environment. The allusions in the
Old Man and the Sea are relative to Greek mythology and The Bible. These allusions are meant to expand the story to a greater proportion and significance, such as relating
Santiago to a God or Jesus. Santiago is emblematic of the God, Nereus, who is known as “Old Man of the Sea” who is described as a