Old Man And The Sea
The novel Old Man and the Sea contains many elements of symbolism. One of the
greatest and most obvious symbolisms 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 a simple faith. ?Have faith in the Yankees my son.? This type of faith
reflects the basic principles of Christianity.
Hemingway?s description of Santiago further illustrates Christian symbolism.
Hemingway gives a reference to the nail-pierced hands of Christ by stating that Santiago?s
?hands had deep creased scars.? Hemingway also parallels Santiago?s suffering to that of
Christ by stating that ?he settled ? against the wood and took his suffering as it came.?
Even more profound is the description of Santiago?s response when he saw the sharks,
?just a noise such a man might make, involuntarily feeling the nail go through his hands
and into the wood.? Further symbolism is shown when Santiago arrives home and carries
the mast across his shoulders as Christ
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