Old Man and the Sea

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"There is never a simple key to any writer worth much attention, but in the case of Hemingway there is something that looks so like a key… that it cannot escape any informed and thoughtful reader's notice" (O'Conner 153). Ernest Hemingway was one such author. Very rarely did he summarize statements, therefore the only way to solve his puzzle was to take it apart and examine each components. One of the hidden elements that the reader must analyzie closely is the parallel between Santiago and Jesus Christ. In the novel, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway creates connections between Santiago and Jesus Christ that adds religious coloration to the story.

Santiago can be compared to a Christ figure on the basis of his relationships with other characters in the novel. People look up to Santiago, as would a follower to Christ, hereby setting up a comparison between the two. (transition) Since the age of five, Manolin has aided the old man by working alongside him as an apprentice. Manolin is loyal to Santiago and looks up to him as if Santiago was his real father. According to Delbert Wylder, "Santiago has, in a sense been the boy's spiritual father" ( 219). Manolin is in awe of the old man, who the town recognizes as an honorable fisherman. The boy states, "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you." Like Santiago, Christ was also a spiritual father to his town; the town of Bethlehem. He performed miracles to heal the sick, and fed thousands of starving people. As Jim Auer says, "This demonstrates Santiago's relation to Christ. They are both extremely unique, and were father figures in their communities" (15). ?The people of Bethlehem looked up to Christ as a father figure, and they had love and admiration towards him.? Likewise, "The love of Manolin for Santiago is that of a discipline for a master in the arts of fishing, it is also the love of a son for an adopted father" (Wagner-Martin 307). Through...
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