Some believe to live is to suffer, and in Hemingway's "The Old Man And The Sea" this philosophy is dealt with and viewed in many situations. In this poignant short novel Ernest Hemingway beautifully illustrates the trials and tribulations of everyday man, through Santiago's struggle at sea. The old man's adventure with the marlin is one of loss, pride, and achievement all combined into one emotional fight for life itself. Hemingway's use of allegory in "The Old Man And The Sea" establishes many deeper aspects that man struggles with in everyday life. The numerous hardships and battles Santiago encounters on the sea can be viewed as conflicts man is forced to deal with in his lifetime.
A use of symbolism that proves an example of struggle in life is seen when the old man reflects on Manolin. When Santiago is at sea and hooks the great fish he feels he needs the virile power of the young boy to catch the marlin. Manolin the young boy often helped the old man on other fishing ventures, but he does not have him then and reflects on this in this quote "But you haven't got the boy he thought. You have only yourself, and you had better work back to the last line now, in the dark, and cut it and hook up the two reserve coils."1. This quote is symbolic of making due in life with what you have. Santiago does not have Manolin's help; therefore he must struggle and catch the great fish on his own. Many times in one's life we are not given every advantage to ease our pain and suffering when one is striving for achievement. The old man does not allow in pity for not having Manolin, but rather is very rational about the situation. This represents the fact that in life one must move on and put great effort into tasks that are seemingly impossible when done independently. The absence of Manolin places emphasis on dealing with struggle when man has little to fight with.
As Hemingway uses other figures to establish struggle, he also utilizes Santiago's inner...
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