Hemingways Themes

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Hemingways Themes “Hemingway’s greatness is in his short stories, which rival any other master of the form”(Bloom 1). The Old Man and the Sea is the most popular of his later works (1). The themes represented in this book are religion (Gurko 13-14), heroism (Brenner 31-32), and character symbolism (28). These themes combine to create a book that won Hemingway a Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and contributed to his Nobel Prize for literature in 1954 (3). “Santiago’s ordeal, first in his struggle with the big fish, and then in fighting against the sharks, is associated by Hemingway with Christ’s agony and triumph,” (Bloom 2). When Santiago sees the second and third sharks coming, he shouts “Ay,” and Hemingway notes: “There is no translation for this word and perhaps it is just such a noise as a man might make, involuntarily, feeling the nail go through his hand and into the wood” (Waldmeir 28). “Santiago is often regarded [as] a Christ figure, and his love for all living creatures and forbearance in physical pain are attributes that support this [idea]. However, Santiago shares few traits with Christ (Brenner 38). In his book The Old Man and the Sea: Story of a Common Man, Gerry Brenner states: Christ is a fisher of men, but Santiago is merely a fisherman; Christ is a figure with a divine mission, Santiago one with a secular mission (to bring back an oversized fish); Christ is a martyr who willingly but reluctantly dies for his convictions, Santiago is a persevering champion who is willing to die only to win a battle with a fish; Christ is a teacher of spiritual and ethical wisdom, Santiago is a professional with skill and slogans to impart (38). The Hemingway hero is often religious, but their religion is rarely central to their lives (Gurko 13). Santiago is Cuban, at once devout and credulous (13). However, neither his religion nor his superstitious beliefs play a role in his ordeal with the great marlin (13). God is sometimes prayed to by the Hemingway hero in a time of crisis, but He is never depended upon (Waldmeir 29). When Santiago says his prayers, he also says, “I am not religious,” even as he says his prayer (29). After forty-five hours of struggle have passed, Santiago says, “I’ll say a hundred Our Fathers and a hundred Hail Mary’s. But I cannot say them now.” (Waldmeir 29-30) For those ... ... middle of paper ... ..., Mrs. “Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea” Lecture: 2000. Timms, David. “Contrasts in Form: Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Faulkner’s ‘The Bear’” Modern Critical Interpretations: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999: 45-52. Wagner, Linda W. “The Poem of Santiago and Manolin” Modern Critical Interpretations: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Ed. Harold Spreng 8 Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999: 45-52. Waldmeir, Joseph. “Confiteor Hominem: Ernest Hemingway’s Religion of Man” Modern Critical Interpretations: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999: 45-52. Wilson Jr., G.R. “Incarnation and Redemption in The Old Man and the Sea” Modern Critical Interpretations: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999: 45-52. Young, Philip. “The Old Man and the Sea: Vision/Revision” Modern CriticalInterpretations: Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Ed. HaroldBloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1999: 45-52.
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