Hemingway's Symbolism In The Old Man And The Sea

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After my first perusal, I could not understand why this book was highly regarded and appreciated. However, after having spent enough time with it to fully comprehend its meaning, I realize that symbols and their deep significance bring the novella to the unachievable level of acme of perfection. The Old Man and the Sea isn't just a book about an old man and the sea. I have noticed numerous symbols in the novella. They are exquisitely located on purpose in different parts of the story. I had to reread same pages umpteen times to figure out the meaning behind Hemingway’s symbolism. They are hidden gems that readers have to dig out. First of all, let me define symbolism in literature so I can proceed with the analysis based on this definition. …show more content…
It makes Santiago happy, relaxed, and serene when he dream about the lions. Most of the time, the lions appear to be mere cubs, playing like young cats in the dusk, and Santiago loves them as he loves Manolin. Santiago remembers the lions on the beach in Africa from his childhood when he sailed there. Lions represent youth, strength, and freedom. The lion is a wild hunter and always referred to the king of the jungle. The lions symbolize Santiago’s pride and indicate that he is still full of virility and youth. Santiago is a seasoned fisherman and the king of the sea as analogous to the lions. Because the lions in his dreams always appear out of their natural environment and on the beach, they suggest that there is a harmony in all of life. Santiago, imagining large fierce animals playing with each other, also symbolizes harmony between life and death. Assumably, Santiago’s love to the lions mirrors his relationship with the marlin whom he loves and regards as his brother. Dreaming about the lions in the last sentence of the book, Hemingway most likely meant that Santiago is still the old strange man that readers have been familiarized with in the beginning of the

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