Christ Symbolism In Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea

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Register to read the introduction… While traveling home after he catches the marlin, several sharks begin to eat the marlin. Just as Christ attempts to resist his opponents and fails, Santiago vigorously attempts to fight the sharks off but ultimately cannot. However, neither Christ nor Santiago are discouraged, as shown when Santiago reasons, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated” (Hemingway 103). Both men know that they are still victorious as they are more capable than their opponents and will be able to achieve their destiny after Santiago and Christ are mentally and physically destroyed, respectively. They understand that out of these dreadful situations will emerge a rush of virtue and worthiness. When Santiago finally returns to land, he shoulders the mast of the ship, which symbolizes the cross Jesus is forced to carry, and painstakingly makes the journey back to his house, falling several times just as Christ does as he carries the cross. When he arrives home, he collapses on the bed “face down…with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up” (Hemingway 122). This imagery is remarkably similar to Christ’s position on the cross during his crucifixion. Hemingway utilizes the shark attacks and the Christ-like imagery to supplement the symbolic parallel of Santiago and …show more content…
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