The Old Man And The Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, went in printing in 1952, a year later was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In 1954, Hemingway was given the Nobel Prize in Literature. After such a big success and a long and well accomplished career, a few years later, on a Sunday, the morning July 2nd 1961, Hemingway committed suicide. The paradox of the author’s ending with the ending of his most famous novel The Old Man And The Sea is that Ernest Hemingway, the man, gave up, whereas his character in the novel Santiago never gave up, was never defeated, emerging triumphant with the struggle against larger forces. This paradox raises the question: is The Old Man And The Sea a reflection of the author’s personal life and agony, as most commentators believe, or is it much more than that? A novel that depicts and represents the constant struggle of human kind in every era? Why was Hemingway in agony? Ernest Hemingway was a writer that belonged to the Lost Generation. One can imagine living the horrors of WWI, known as the Great War, being a personal witness in the Civil Spanish War, then WWII, living the entire adult life in and between wars. One looses hope and only dwells in the despair of loss, and agonizing in every breath. But as painful as his life was, Hemingway wrote this novel not just like a reflection of his own agony, not just as an expression of his own voice, but more than that, he portrayed the constant human struggle throughout the centuries, speaking in the voice of all humanity, past, present and future. This approach is the key what makes the novel so great. And the style and symbolism used in it make it a masterpiece therefore reading it a very thrilling experience.  In this paper I will analyze the symbolism used in The Old Man And The Sea as well as make a comparison with a flow of historical and literary memory and conscience of the human kind, the world at large and of its author Ernest Hemingway. The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis on why this novel goes beyond the voice of the author. It is a universal work that represents the struggle and calling of humanity throughout the ages.

Keywords: Hemingway, Old Man, sea, symbolism, Santiago, Manolin, Marlin, sharks, lions, fish, humankind, struggle, universal.


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How to Cite

Kurti, B. (2023). THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, THE BATTLE OF LIFE FOR ALL HUMAN KIND. ANGLISTICUM. Journal of the Association-Institute for English Language and American Studies, 12(6), pp.28–35.



Volume 12, No.6, June 2023