I have to write an essay about The Old Man and the Sea in general, including plot summary, themes, style, symbols.Thank you.

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea is a modern morality tale and allegory that reveals the following:

Plot: Santiago is an old Cuban fisherman who has had an unlucky streak.  To redeem himself, he ventures far out and catches a great marlin.  When hauling it to shore, the carcass is ravaged by sharks.  Santiago returns to shore with only a skeleton.

Themes: Man's ability to deal with suffering, pain, and age.  Man's communal journey hows how man's journey into nature leads to suffering and self-knowledge.  The skill of an old fisherman can inspire a youthful disciple.

Style: the novella is written in the plain, tough style of a biblical parable: few adjectives, short sentences, an objective and matter-of-fact tone, and an honest and ethical narrative voice.

Symbols: nature (air, water, land); fish (marlin vs. sharks); Santiago's hands; the great DiMaggio; Manolin (the disciple); the cross-like mast he carries home

Read the study guide:
The Old Man and the Sea

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