The Old Man and the Sea

Christian Symbolism in The Old Man and the Sea College

“But man is not made for defeat…A man can be defeated but not destroyed”. These eternal lines from Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea reflect the strong Christian motif of hope and resurrection that is present as a strong undertone in the novel. The usage of Christian symbolism elevates the text to the level of an allegory, almost parable on the indomitable will of man that manages to remain undefeated, even in the midst of earthly losses. Therefore, God exists in the novel not in the form of Immanent Will, neither benevolent nor malevolent but it is the struggle of man in the fashion of Christ’s passion that commands the utmost significance and not the outcome of that quest.

The Christian symbolism that pervades throughout the text is directed prominently at Santiago to delineate him as a modern day Christ who keeps up with his faith towards his struggle. In fact, Hemingway writes that the old man gets on suffering from headache and blood spits while struggling with the marlin which is highly reminiscent of Christ’s pain during crucifixion. In fact, His passion finds a direct reference when the novelist says, “Ay…feeling the rail go through his hand and into the wood…” This sentiment is recreated when Santiago reaches...

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