In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway uses symbolism to portray the traits of the main characters in his stories. Hemingway uses symbols to give the reader a better look and an easier understanding of what the book is about. The use of symbolism in his books gives them deeper meaning sort of like a lesson. Hemingway places symbols, leaving the reader to look deeper into the obvious plot of the play.
The symbol of courage and determination is used in Old Man and the Sea. Stated above, Hemingway portrays the men in this book with very dominant and strong characteristics. In Old Man and the Sea, the old man, Santiago, is a very old fisherman who doesn't have good luck when it came to fishing. One day, when he is out at sea, he hooked a great marlin and realizes he is unable to quickly kill the fish, and it proceeds to tow him farther out to sea.
"Now we are joined together and have been since noon. And no one to help either one of us" (Hemingway 50). The old man and the fish are both mere inhabitants of Gulf Stream, bonded by the fact that they are at the mercy of the sea. Santiago then says," You are killing me, fish, the old man thought. But you have a right to. Never have I seen a greater, or more beautiful, or a calmer or more noble thing than you, brother." (Hemingway 92) The way Santiago says the statement sounds like he will do anything to catch the fish and even risk his own life. It takes courage to risk your life
In the opening lines of the book Hemingway uses the numbers "eighty-four" which is seven times twelve, the two great "epic numbers"...