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Meaning of The Old Man & The Sea

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jul 04, 2004

In the novel The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway uses the literary device of metaphors. Hemingway uses the metaphor of the ocean to symbolize life and to depict the role that individuals play in life.
Hemingway uses the metaphor of the lions to signify people who live their lives as active participants. The tourists in the novel represent the individuals, who in observe their lives and are not active participants. In the novels that Ernest Hemingway writes, he uses metaphors to reflect his life experiences and opinions. The ocean in The Old Man and the Sea is a metaphor, which represents Hemingway's personal view of life. Hemingway believes that in life everyone must find their own niche and uses the metaphor of the ocean and the boats on it to demonstrate this.

“...most of the boats were silent except for the dip of the oars. They spread apart after they were out of the mouth of the harbour and each one headed for the part of the ocean where he hoped to find fish. The old man knew he was going far out...” (Page 22)

Hemingway feels that in life there are people who participate in life and people who observe life as it passes just like on the ocean where there are boats that do not test their boundaries. The boats are the people in life, and most of the boats are silent. They paddle within the areas they know to be safe and always are cautious not to upset the life that they have established for themselves. Hemingway is explaining that most people don't raise a commotion; they just allow life to happen to them. The old man is testing his limits; he is challenging the ocean, and rowing where he wants to go, not where the ocean wants to take him. Hemingway believes that in life, the farther a person stays from the observers, the more free and exhilarated they will be.

“If there is a hurricane, you always see the signs of it in the sky for days ahead, if you are at sea. They do not see it ashore because they do not know what to look for, he thought. The land must make a difference too, in the shape of the clouds. But we have no hurricane coming now.”(Page 51)

Hemingway theorizes that in life there are going to be unexpected collisions. Just as the sea creates...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   07/04/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   6 pages (1,251 words)

Views:   7610

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