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Old Man and The Sea

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Liam Smyth

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Old Man and The Sea

Allegory in The Old Man and The Sea Introduction In Earnest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea symbolism is everywhere. In fact, the old man and the sea is more than just a story, it’s an allegory.

In the novella, there are six main examples of allegory. This is where one thing is used in the story to represent something much bigger.

The six main examples of allegory are:
1. Joe DiMaggio, the famous baseball player
2. The lions on the beach
3. The great marlin
4. The shovel-nosed sharks
5. Christ
6. The sea itself. Joe DiMaggio One of the many examples of allegory in the text can be seen in the old man’s constant referring to the famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio and his painful bone spur.

DiMaggio’s bone spur and the pain that is causes him is something that the old man can relate to.

As he fights with the fish, he gets a cramped hand, the rope is constantly digging into his back and his old body is aching from head to toe. As he battles the fish, “he wonders whether DiMaggio suffering from bone spur in his heel, ever endured the pain which the marlin is now subjecting him to.”

DiMaggio is a symbol for withstanding pain and achieving the impossible. The Lions on the
Beach All throughout the book, the old man has recurring dreams of the young lions in Africa.
Hemingway tells us that the old man used to dream of different things like storms and women, but “he only dreamed of places now and the lions on the beach. They play like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy.”
Here, the lions are a symbol of his past youth.
As his battle with the marlin goes on for days, just like the lions, the old man has to use his strength and hunting skills. As we can see, the lions are an allegory for strength as well as the old man’s youth. The Great Marlin The marlin symbolizes many things.
It is a symbol for the ideal opponent for the old man.
The old man has a tremendous amount of respect for the fish, his competitor.
Even though your opponent might be someone that you greatly respect it doesn’t change the fact that you want to see yourself win.

Another example of allegory in the text that has to do with the great marlin is the fact that it represents the old man’s mental strength. The old man has to keep his wits about him in order to compete with the great fish.

Also, the marlin is an allegory for Santiago’s hope and self-worth.
At the beginning of the story, the old man had no self-worth. He hadn’t caught a single fish in over 80 days. He was feeling like a useless fisherman. Catching the great marlin helped Santiago feel like more of a man. The Shovel-Nosed Sharks The sharks represent destruction and evil.

Unlike the marlin and the old man, who have a respectful competition going, the sharks are only out to destroy them both. They are out to kill the marlin and they want to get rid of Santiago’s ability to receive meat.

The marlin brings out the best in Santiago. The sharks bring out the worst. This can be seen as allegory because all humans have something in life that brings out their best and worst. Christian/Biblical References Santiago makes many references to God, and sin.
Santiago is often contemplating what is right and what is wrong. He is often wondering if he has sinned.

The major example of Christian allegory can be seen as Santiago docks his boat and struggles to get back to his shack.
As he removes the mast from his boat, and carries it up the hill to his house, the mast can be looked at as the cross that Christ carried.

This image gets stronger as Santiago enters his shack. Hemingway tells us that Santiago, “slept face down on the newspapers with his arms out straight and the palms of his hand up”. The reader can just picture Christ nailed to the cross. The Sea = Life The final example of allegory used in the story is the fact that the ocean represents the cycle of life.

The sea represents life because just like the sea, life is beautiful but can also be deadly.
We are all born and we all must die just like the creatures in the ocean. Just like the old man’s journey, sometimes we are lucky and sometimes we are unlucky.
Also, just like Santiago, in life you must work very hard for the things you want.
The old man is like all of us because sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes you work really hard and you still don’t get what you want. Just like Santiago’s three day journey, there are never any guarantees.
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