The Old Man and the Sea
By Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
• Early Years:
• The Reporter
• Born in Oak Park, Illinois.
• Was the son of a doctor and a
• He started his writing career as
music teacher.
• At age 18, he volunteered as
an ambulance driver in Italy
during WWI, where he was
badly injured.
a reporter for the Kansas City
In 1921, he served as a
correspondent in Paris for the
Toronto Daily Star.
Achieved fame as a chronicler
of the disaffection felt by many
American youth after WWI.
In 1936, wrote for Esquire
about a Cuban fisherman.
Covered the Spanish Civil War
Ernest Hemingway
• The Adventurer:
• The Famous Novelist:
• In Paris in the 1920’s, he fell in
• His novels, The Sun Also Rises
with a group of expatriate writers.
A big game hunter in Africa
An avid fisherman in Cuba
A boxer, a bull-fighter and a huge
fan of baseball.
Won a Bronze Star in WWII as a
war correspondent in combat.
Flew in small planes to dangerous
places; crashed twice.
Married four women; divorced
A macho man personified
(1926) and A Farewell to Arms
(1929) established him as a
dominant literary voice of his time.
Published For Whom the Bell Tolls
in 1940.
Won the Pulitzer Prize and the
Nobel Prize for The Old Man and
the Sea in 1953.
Awarded the Medal of Honor by
Batista, the former dictator of
Ernest Hemingway
• His Later Years:
• His Writing Style:
• Nicknamed himself “Papa”
• Very terse
• He uses a condensed sentence
(had a white grizzly beard and
jolly looking face)
• His father committed suicide.
• He became very paranoid and
• In 1961, at age 61, he killed
himself with a shotgun in
Ketchum, Idaho.
structure and simple language.
• Was revolutionary for his time
and was imitated by
generations of young writers.
Characterization of Santiago
• Protagonist
• A skilled fisherman who
• Idolized Joe DiMaggio for
has a deep respect for
the sea and all of nature
Elderly; very poor
Confident despite periodic
setbacks or failures
Determined; feels it is a
sin to lose hope
his return to baseball
despite a battle with bone
Loved baseball
Loved Manolin and taught
him how to fish; all of his
skill, expertise and love of
nature will live on
through the boy.
Christ-like (symbol)
Characterization of Manolin
• Minor character
• Truly loves and respects the old man
• A “nurturer” to Santiago
• Will learn all Santiago has to teach him
about fishing, the sea, and his respect for
• Will carry on Santiago’s legacy. Through
him, Santiago will never die.
Point of View
• Third Person limited omniscient
• Focuses on Santiago, helping us to understand his
character and feel his emotions (uses an introspective
Monologue when Santiago is alone on the sea).
Allows the reader to sympathize with Santiago and his
The Stream of Consciousness technique is used.
(Hemingway has Santiago flashback to various events or
memories of his life –out of consecutive order,
randomly– while he is semi-delirious on the water after
being out to sea with very little food for a few days.)
This helps his plight (or ordeal) seem realistic. It also
helps to provide additional background information.
• Time Period:
The Late 1940’s
• The book spans a
period of 5 days
• Place:
--A small fishing
village near Havana,
Cuba in a shack;
--In a boat on the
waters of the Gulf of
• His wrestling match with the El Negro en
Cienfuegos from when he was younger and in
his prime
The pictures of his wife suggesting his past life
with her
The memories of the two marlins that he and
Manolin encountered on a previous fishing trip.
He remembers when he fished with Manolin and
would talk to him to prevent becoming lonely
Roles of Minor Characters
• The Marlin:
• Calls the marlin “his brother”; considers it his
equal and a very worthy opponent
He has a great deal of respect and admiration
for the marlin
Although he had a harpoon through his heart,
he was mighty enough to jump one last time to
show his power and greatness.
Role of Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio:
*Worshipped by Santiago as a model of strength and
commitment. (Idol)
*Santiago’s thoughts turn to him whenever he needs to
reassure himself of his own strength. (Inspiration)
*Despite a painful bone spur that might have crippled
another player, he went on to secure a triumphant
career in baseball for the NY Yankees.
*He never actually appears in the novel. (Allusion)
Defined as: A word or a phrase repeated throughout a
work that takes on meaning through its repetition.
Baseball and Joe DiMaggio
Dreams of the lions on the beach
Life from death
Crucifixion imagery
Symbolism of Santiago
• Santiago =
• Santiago = Jesus
• As a result of this, the
novella is a Christian
Symbolism of Nature
• Man of War bird (that has no chance) = not admitting
Turtles (their hearts continue to beat after death) = How
Santiago’s heart or spirit is undefeated.
Weary Warbler = threats of impending doom (for
him…the hawks; for Santiago…the sea and later the
Mako shark = noble enemy (beautiful, dangerous)
Shovel-nosed sharks = those who take advantage of
others’ work; exploiters; the destructive forces of the
Symbolism of the Marlin
• Noble and worthy adversary; the ideal
• Larger than life
• Does the unexpected
• Perseveres; does not give up
• Worthy of Santiago’s effort and strength
Symbolism of the Lions on the
• In the first two dreams, they represent youth (innocence and
• In the last dream, they represent the circular nature of life.
(Manolin will fish with Santiago from now on, learning all of his
skills, expertise, and love and respect of nature. Through Manolin,
Santiago’s legacy will live on!)
• Also, because lions are fierce predators, playing, his dream suggests
a harmony between opposing forces such as: life and death, love
and hate, and the destruction and regeneration of nature.
Crucifixion Imagery/Symbolism:
Santiago as Christ
• The 40 days w/out a fish represents Jesus’ time
wandering in the desert and tempted by Satan
The cuts on Santiago’s hands
While carrying the mast home after returning with the
carcass of his marlin, he stumbles and falls 5 times.
When Manolin finds Santiago the next morning, he is
laying face down on his bed with his arms spread out,
palms up.
Santiago tells Manolin that he will need to rest, but he
will be able to fish with him in 3 days. (This resembles
the resurrection: Jesus was resurrected on the third day
after his crucifixion.)
• Unity w/Nature
• Heroism & Fighting
the Good Fight
Defeat: “Man is not
made for defeat…A
man can be destroyed
but not defeated.”
• Success: Material v.
Inner, Spiritual
Exceeding limits

The Old Man and the Sea