Essay about Ernest Hemingway 's The Old Man And The Sea

1340 Words Nov 19th, 2015 null Page
“Yahweh,” replied the voice in the cave when Moses asked what name the God of the Israelites should be known by, “I am who am” (New Revised Standard Version, Exodus 3:14). Man received this answer to his question of God’s identity more than two millennia ago, but has never been satisfied by it. Instead, humanity has never ceased in pursuing greater knowledge of the divine. Resulting in part from the inherent beauty of this unanswerable question, the holy longing to know God has served as the foundation for countless cultural movements and works of art. One such work was rooted in this question by its author through perhaps the most outstanding use of allegory found in modern literature. This text, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, told the story of Santiago, a fisherman in pursuit of his greatest catch, a fish whose capture would alter the course of his destiny. Hemingway’s literary genius manifested itself in the true nature of the conflict between Santiago and the fish. In this deeply contemplative short story, Santiago’s pursuit of the big fish paralleled the Biblical struggle of mankind to know God as illustrated in the Old Testament stories of the Israelites in the desert. For a born fisherman, a long lapse in pulling fish from the sea is akin to the utmost parchedness. At the start of The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago found himself in the midst of this drought of success. Eighty-four days had passed since Santiago’s last catch (Hemingway 13). This drawn-out…

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