Symbolism In The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway

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Symbolism is used to create meaning and emotion as well as to represent a person or an object in a story. Much symbolism that is defined as such is used prominently in the novel The Old Man and the Sea written by Ernest Hemingway. The novel emphasizes strong symbolism featured in the relationships between Santiago and the marlin, as well as those between Santiago and Manolin and Santiago and the sharks. Santiago, the old man, is an unlucky fisherman who has not caught a fish for eighty-four days. Although he does obtain an eighteen-foot long marlin on the eighty-fifth day at sea, he struggles to defeat it for three days and three nights. Santiago still ends up arriving back home with only the bones of the fish and memories of the other struggles …show more content…
He represents hope and support to Santiago because no matter how many people claim Santiago to be unlucky, Manolin disregarded the old man’s bad luck and continues to stay by his side under any circumstances. Santiago became so attached to Manolin that when he was out fishing alone, he constantly thinks, ‘“I wish I had the boy”’ (Hemingway 51). When the boy was not there, Santiago felt lost because he was so accustomed to having Manolin take care of him, even when the old man refused. When I struggled with math, I had a friend, named Varshini, who was always concerned with how I was doing and often asked if I needed anything at all. When I was failing my math class and struggling to concentrate even on the smallest and easiest topics, she was there for me, guiding me through my hardships as I tears ran down my face and I was trying to get a hold of myself. Varshini told me that maybe if I had changed my attitude toward math and looked at the problems from a different perspective, then I would not need to struggle so much and put a great load of stress and weight on myself. My friend also told me to not think about the grade that I have in the class because that grade is just a number and a number does not show who I am and what I am capable of. By not giving up and giving my all toward the subject, the end result made me understand what I am capable of and that it was …show more content…
For the reason why the shark had become a part of Santiago’s existence is because the old man had forgotten the fact that the marlin was bleeding and that sharks are attracted to blood. As the marlin’s soft blood slowly started dripping into the calm sea, the killer beasts with their razor sharp jaws came rushing toward the alluring scent and ripped the fish into bits and tore it down piece by piece along with the old man’s pride and happiness, leaving him devastated. While mourning, Santiago realizes, “The shark was not an accident. He had come up from deep down in the water as the dark cloud of blood had settled and dispersed in the mile deep sea” (Hemingway 100). Santiago’s shark is my teacher because she tore down my outstanding grades and my confidence. My teacher was my shark because every time I went to ask for help, she would always discourage me, for I was always behind in my work and she would make that the reason why my grade was so low. Having her as my teacher was a random event, but our emotions toward each other were not random; they had built up over the year, and came crashing on me at that moment. Although it was my fault that I was so behind, she always left me feeling much worse and hopeless than I felt before. I

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