The Old Man and the Sea


Ernest Hemingway

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Christian Allegory Theme Analysis

Themes and Colors
Resistance to Defeat Theme Icon
Pride Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Youth and Age Theme Icon
Man and Nature Theme Icon
Christian Allegory Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Old Man and the Sea, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Christian Allegory Theme Icon

The Old Man and the Sea is full of Christian imagery. Over the course of his struggles at sea, Santiago emerges as a Christ figure. For instance: Santiago's injured hands recall Christ's stigmata (the wounds in his palms); when the sharks attack, Santiago makes a sound like a man being crucified; when Santiago returns to shore he carries his mast up to his shack on his shoulder, just as Christ was forced to bear his own crucifix; and Santiago's final position, resting on his bed, resembles Christ's position on the cross. More importantly, Santiago resembles Christ in that, like Christ, he transforms loss into triumph, faces the inevitability of death without complaint and, in doing so, transcends it. Christ literally is resurrected, while Santiago regains Manolin as an apprentice, providing both the companionship he had lost and the chance to pass his knowledge on to the next generation.

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Christian Allegory ThemeTracker

The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Christian Allegory appears in each chapter of The Old Man and the Sea. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis.
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Christian Allegory Quotes in The Old Man and the Sea

Below you will find the important quotes in The Old Man and the Sea related to the theme of Christian Allegory.
Day Four Quotes
Then the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all of the skiff.
Related Characters: Santiago
Related Symbols: The Marlin
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
"A man can be destroyed but not defeated."
Related Characters: Santiago (speaker)
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
He started to climb again and at the top he fell and lay for some time with the mast across his shoulder.
Related Characters: Santiago
Related Symbols: The Mast
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
Day Five Quotes
"How much did you suffer?"
"Plenty," the old man said.
Related Characters: Manolin (speaker)
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis: