Old Man and the Sea

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Kelsey Finn
English 1A
Mr. Fitzgerald
October 17, 2011
The Symbolic Relationship

In Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, there is a symbol for mostly everything. The boy’s characteristics to the old man are symbolic. He is symbolic to the man because the boy represents the old man’s strength. The old man wishes the boy were there when he was out at sea. Also the boy is symbolic to his memory. The boy reminds him of things, and when the old man forgets something, the boy is there to remember it for him.

One way the boy symbolizes old man is by his strength. The old man was trying to reel-in the fish and wishes the boy was there to help him, the old man frequently wishes that the boy was with him. The old man says, “I wish the boy were here” (56). The old man does not ask for the boy because he is lonely. He only wishes the boy were there when he lacks strength, which shoes he needs the boy’s strength. This makes the boy a symbol for the old man’s strength. Because of the boy’s strength, the relationship to the old man is symbolic.

The boy acts the old man’s son, remembering the first time the old man took the boy out fishing together. Hemingway states, “If you were my boy I’d take you out and gamble” (13). The boy represents the old man’s son. This shows the old man needs someone to be around and go fishing with, because fishing is a time where you can spend time with one another. The boy is representing what the old man wishes he had. He wishes he had a son he could go out and have fun with, and grow together with, be a role model for. This makes the boy symbolic by representing a son he never had, by spending time with him.

Memory of the old man is very weak, the boy represents his memory in many different ways, when they were discussing about the cast net. The old man forgot he had sold it, and the boy, remember for him. Hemingway states in the novel “There was no cast net and the boy remembers when they had sold it”...
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