The Old Man and the Sea

the role of santiago?

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Santiago represents Hemingway himself, searching for his next great book; an Everyman, heroic in the face of human tragedy; or the Oedipal male unconscious trying to slay his father, the marlin, in order to sexually possess his mother, the sea. Santiago is also a Christ-figure. Santiago's hands are cut by the fishing line. This combined with old cuts are symbolic of the suffering of Christ and his stigmata. When the sharks ravish the meat of the Marlin the meaning of Santiago as Christ-figure deepens. He moans in agony as if he is "having nails driven through his hands." Santiago's defeat is man kind's defeat yet in his defeat there is a sense of redemption. He returns empty handed (except for the skeleton) yet he has attained what others once laughed at. The boy Manolin tends to his wounds like he has been taken down from a cross.