Old Man and the Sea

Decent Essays
"There is never a simple key to any writer worth much attention, but in the case of Hemingway there is something that looks so like a key… that it cannot escape any informed and thoughtful reader's notice" (O'Conner 153). Ernest Hemingway was one such author. Very rarely did he summarize statements, therefore the only way to solve his puzzle was to take it apart and examine each components. One of the hidden elements that the reader must analyzie closely is the parallel between Santiago and Jesus Christ. In the novel, The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway creates connections between Santiago and Jesus Christ that adds religious coloration to the story.

Santiago can be compared to a Christ figure on the basis of his relationships
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"This later passage which details Santiago's painful climb up the hill to his shack, bearing the mast of his boat on his shoulders is an allusion to Christ's last ascent" (Wylder 91). William O'Conner believes The Old Man and the Sea can be classified as "a Christian tragedy…especially in several marked allusions to Christian symbolism, particularly of the crucifixion" (O'Connor 169). "Following the example of Christ, he [Santiago] suffers unjustly and undergoes defeat. He experiences his own type of crucifixion. But he accepts suffering, again following the model of Christ" (Auer 22). Carrying the mast (cross), Santiago struggles to his shack. At the shack, Santiago goes to bed in a crucifixion pose: face down, arms out, palms up. "He pulled the blanket over his shoulders and then over his back and legs and he slept face down on the newspapers with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up" (Hemingway 112). As a result of the precise parallel between Santiago and Christ, the reader can infer that Santiago is Christ in disguise.

One critic Arvin Wells believes "Santiago can be seen as a Christian saint" (22). Wells concludes this theory because Santiago has achieved the most difficult and saintly of all Christian virtues, humility. "There are reminiscences of Christianity present in the story sometimes as a symbol, sometimes as direct allusion and sometimes merely as a
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