In Ernest Hemingway's classic work, The Old Man and the Sea, he uses a lot of symbolism to support the reader’s understanding of the message he is trying to describe. The Old Man and the Sea isn't just a novella about an old man and the sea. There are many concealed meanings to it. Each component represents various qualities like the marlin, for example, represents loyalty, beauty and the last challenge all humans go though. The lions in his dreams resemble youth, freedom, and also strength. Santiago, the old man, symbolizes a Christ-like figure.
The marlin represented many things. For example, it symbolized the great struggle all people go through. One then must be careful of going out too far comparable to Santiago. Accomplishing or obtaining something does not always end one's journey. Once Santiago hooks the fish, he still has to bring it home. Bringing home the marlin brings further complications from the sharks. The fish itslef symbolizes loyalty and beauty: “Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed.” (Hemingway 49)Like the marlin and the sharks, the lions also symbolize different attributes.
Thé narrator says,”the young lions remind Santiago of his own youth, and the thoughts provide the old man with the strength to keep going, even against great odds.” For instance, when he needed strength on his long and strenuous voyage he thought of his dreams of the lions, and of them playing on the beach without a care in the world. With this in his mind it seemed to make him stronger and gave him the endurance to continue. The lions could also symbolize pride. Like the lions, Santiago had pride. He is proud of his fishing skills. He is able to...
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