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An evaluation of christian symbolism in the book the old man and the sea

Hemingway is very careful while portraying characters in his works.

The novella is centred on one major character Santiago. As the title suggest Santiago is an old man. He is of 75 years old Cuban fisherman. Hemingway has presented the character of Santiago with strong determination will power, hope and confidence.

Hemingway has borrowed a surprisingly abundant supply of facts from his own life for his novels. The books have therefore something autobiographical about them. Something of the author's character and personality is attributed to the hero of the Hemingway novel. But in The Old Man and the Sea the identification between the author and the hero is complete: The verb symbol is an objectwhich can be animate or unanimated. Symbols represent or stand for something different.

He founded the symbolist school whose members were Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Verlaine etc. Other famous followers include Reme Ghil, Griffith and Gustavo khan. According to Oxford Dictionary "Symbolism means use of symbols like Object, character use of figure of color to represent abstract idea concept or quality. The element of symbolism is presented in all the works of Hemingway. As a result,the novel is reach in symbolism images and motifs that enhance both the plot and the themes.

According to critic M. Abrahm Now there might be question that what can be effective and universal symbols in literary writing. To answer the question critic J.

  1. There is also evidence that the symbol of Christ shifts from Santiago to the fish at the climax when he kills the fish.
  2. His struggles did not extinguish the moral fire which burned within Christ; instead, it blazed with even greater intensity.
  3. The lost harpoon Santiago loses the harpoon as he fends off sharks, symbolic of individuals who lose their faith as life's woes attack. He is of 75 years old Cuban fisherman.

Hemingway uses numerous forms of symbolism but a recurring contour id biblical allusion. Hemingway filled this story with biblical allusion to create a deeper meaning within the text. Knowing biblical allusion allows a reader to have wider perspective of the story.

The symbolism of sea is also describe as water, clear water is extremely good and signifies clear thinking. The sea also symbolizes the swimming like swimming in dreams. The major symbol used by Hemingway in distinctive way is the wide sea. This sea is symbol of life itself. Man has to sail either it is sea or life to go through. According to Hemingway, in both the sea and in life, there are many possibilities and similarities that the eye cannot see. However man has to fight bravely and nobly until the end.

Accordingly, it the man is lucky enough, and then he may discover treasure from sea. Likewise if the man is lucky then he will gain love, good family, peace and education.

  • As the title suggest Santiago is an old man;
  • Hemingway has given biographical touch to the character of Santiago which brings personal allegory in the novel;
  • The appearance of lion suggests great strength, nobility, aspiration, victory and ambition;
  • Hemingway is very careful while portraying characters in his works.

However, if he is unlucky than he may not find even single small fish from the greatest and wide sea. Same case with life. If the person is unfortunate then he struggle and suffer, a lot even for one time meal. However, either it is like or sea, man has to embark journey and go through it amid all possible odes. For example Santiago goes for eighty four days without a single fish but he does not give up.

  • As Hemingway himself was about to begin the slow journey towards old age, many believed his life was the inspiration for the Cuban fisherman Santiago, who seemed to have been left behind by life;
  • According to critic M;
  • There is also evidence that the symbol of Christ shifts from Santiago to the fish at the climax when he kills the fish.

He even continues his journey on eighty fifth days and brings a giant Marlin which shows his victory. The novella begins with the dream of Santiago whose dream of the lion on the beach. The lions symbolize Santiago's lost youth as well as his pride. Hemingway has presented lions. They are little cubs who symbolize youthful possibility and great thing to come Santiago often dreams lion playing on African beach.

The image of them always makes Santiago happy. They have his good company just like mandolin. The appearance of lion suggests great strength, nobility, aspiration, victory and ambition. The sharks run parallel to the fisherman in the novel who judge Santiago harshly.

Marlin a magnificent and glorious fish symbolizes the mysterious world of sea which is full of surprise and challenge. Secondly, the marlin symbolizes the ideal and worthily opponent. He is pulled by marlin for a large portion.

A part from this, marlin is even presented as a Christian allegory. Marlin is as calm and cool as lord as Jesus was. Though it is hooked by Santiago, it is not attacked on him instead of tries to guide its followers to win him over. Moreover marlin is also described as s great source of food for other. It means it sacrifices itself so that other may live and survive.

However the sheiks are in great contrast to marlin. The shoved nose shark has attacked the marlin thoughtlessly. They symbolize the destructive force of the universe.

They stand for evil. Much like Santiago without harpoon, those without faith are defenceless. The lost harpoon is symbol of loss of power, strength, virility, pride.

Santiago loses his harpoon-the first of many such losses as he continues a futile battle with sharks. The Mast The mast is symbol of cross of Jesus. The mast is an obvious allusion of cross of Jesus. It is on his skiff, where stands the mast, that Santiago suffer. Santiago suffers at sea for three days with painful injury to the palm of his hand and his back. Who is believed to be cursed, Manolin never abandons him emotionally. It can be argued however that as Santiago fishes without hopes.

The 84 day fishless streak attests to it. Menolin is very symbolic character. Between Manolin and Old man there is vast age differences between them its symbolizes their skill of fishing.

Manolin is the symbol of hope. Manolin would take care of the old man when he said to him "Keep warm old man. Remember we are in September. Numbers of figure like three, seven, forty and eighty five have special significant I the bible. Thus figure symbolizes struggle in the bible. There is reference to figure eighty five which is considered to be lucky and good figure. In the old man and the sea, by Ernest Hemingway, numerous occurrences in the life of Santiago the fisherman are similar to the incident recorded in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

The names of the character translated from Spanish to English are just one of those many similarities. In the story, there are many references to the crucifixion of Jesus. In the very beginning when his palms are cut by fishing lines and at last when he collapses on his bed, at that time, we remind of the image of Christ suffering on the cross.

Santiago sacrificed his in the story to catch fish. Fish has been referred to as the Christian faith. This could build a larger connection that Jesus sacrificed his flash to catch the faith of his people and Sheppard them to enlightenment.

Santiago also has similar process as to catching the fish. Santiago has deeper personal meaning of fishing and this is why he does not s how off his fish like the rest of the fish. The old man and the sea is biblical allusion. There are multiple themes that the core of this book. An example that has been illustrated by Ernest Hemingway is Santiago being like Jesus.

This shows that the story is biblical allusion. Overall throughout the book fish is the main catalyst of biblical allusion of Christianity. Finally the example of Santiago and his self-sacrifice create a more precise system of moral dignity. Personal Allegory The novel old man and the sea can be read as personal parable and a universal allegory.

Hemingway has given biographical touch to the character of Santiago which brings personal allegory in the novel. Santiago serves as a metaphor for the creative artist like Hemingway. There is similarity between them. To wind up This novella, the symbolism has far deeper significance. The book is representation of life as struggle against unconquerable force of nature. Hemingway is very much connected with the nature.

K Works Cited Sinha, P. In A History of American Literature p.