Major Themes of the Novel Old Man and the Sea

Themes of the Novel

The major themes is Old Man and the Sea are solidarity, courage, dignity, pride, values, etc. Let us look into those themes in detail.



Hemingway invests a decent arrangement of energy drawing associations between Santiago and his indigenous habitat. Fishes, feathered creatures, stars etc overall, are his siblings or companions. He has core of a turtle, eats turtle eggs for quality, drinks shark-liver oil for wellbeing, etc. Likewise, clearly conflicting components appeared as parts of one bound together entirely. The ocean is both kind and merciless, ladylike and manly. The Portuguese battleship is delightful yet fatal, the mako shark is honorable, however a savage, etc. The novella’s reason of solidarity helps aid Santiago amidst his disaster. For Santiago, achievement and disappointment are two equivalent features of the same presence. They are temporary structures, which fancifully show up and leave, without influencing the solidarity among him and nature. For whatever time he centers around this solidarity, he considers himself a piece of nature, instead of as an outer adversary contending with it.

Whatever hardships happen to him, they cannot crush him.



Triumph over crushing difficulty is the core of valor, and all together for Santiago- the angler, to be a courageous image for humankind, his tribulations must be fantastic. Triumph, however, is rarely last, as Santiago’s effective killing of the marlin appears. Else, there would be no motivation to incorporate the last 30 pages of the book. Hemingway’s vision of valor is Sisyphean, requiring ceaseless work for characteristically transient closures. What the saint does is, confront difficulty with respect and effortlessness, consequently Hemingway’s Neo-Stoic emphasis on restraint and different features of his concept of masculinity. What we accomplish or fizzle at remotely is not as noteworthy to courage as comporting ourselves with internal honorability. As Santiago says, “[M]an isn’t made for defeat…A man can be obliterated however not crushed”.



Hemingway’s optimal of masculinity is almost indistinguishable from the perfect of chivalry examined previously. To take care of business is to carry on with respect and nobility: not to capitulate to enduring. In addition, it is to acknowledge one’s obligation without objection, and to show a limit of discretion. The portrayal of gentility, the ocean, is described explicitly by its inclination and absence of poise. As written, “On the off chance that she did wild or insidious things, it was on the grounds that she couldn’t support them”. The portrayal of manliness, the marlin, is depicted as great,’ beautiful,’ calm,’ and noble,’ Santiago prepares himself against his agony by letting himself know, “endure like a man. Or on the other hand a fish,” alluding to the marlin. In Hemingway’s moral universe, Santiago tells us, not only the best way to live courageously, however in a manner befitting a man.



Hemingway draws a qualification between two distinct kinds of accomplishment: external, material achievement and internal, profound achievement. While Santiago plainly does not have the previous, the import of this need is overshadowed by his ownership of the later. One approach to depict Santiago’s story is as a triumph of relentless soul, over modest material assets. As noted over, the qualities of such a soul are those of chivalry and masculinity. That Santiago can end the novella undefeated after consistently losing his well deserved, most important belonging, is a demonstration of the privileging of internal accomplishment over external achievement.



Being courageous and masculine are not simply characteristics of character, which one has or does not. One should continually show one’s valor and masculinity through activities directed with pride. Strangely, value cannot be presented upon oneself. Santiago is fixated on demonstrating his value to people around him. He needed to demonstrate himself to the kid: “the multiple times he had demonstrated it amount to nothing. Each time was another time and he never considered the past when he was doing it”. In addition, he needed to substantiate himself to the marlin: “I’ll slaughter him…in all his significance and brilliance. Be that as it may, I will give him what a man can do and what a man perseveres”. A chivalrous and masculine life is not, at that point, one of internal harmony and independence; it requires a steady showing of one’s value through respectable activity.


The Honor in Struggle, Defeat and Death


From the absolute first passage, Santiago is somebody battling against defeat. He has gone eighty-four days without getting a fish— before he will long pass his own record of eighty-seven days. Nearly as a token of Santiago’s battle, the sail of his rowboat takes after “the banner of changeless thrashing”. Nevertheless, the elderly person declines surrender every step of the way: he makes plans to sail out past the other anglers, to where the greatest fish guarantee to be. He handles the Marlin, tying his record of eighty-seven days, following a merciless three-day battle. He proceeds to avert sharks from taking his prey, despite the fact that he realizes the fight is futile.

Since Santiago is set in opposition to the animals of the ocean, a few per users decide to see the story as an anal of man’s fight against the characteristic world. Yet the novella is, more precisely, the account of man’s place inside nature. Both Santiago and the marlin show characteristics of pride, respect, and fortitude, and both are dependent upon the equivalent interminable law: they should execute or they should be murdered. As Santiago reflects when he watches the tired lark fly toward shore, where it will definitely meet the bird of prey. The world is loaded up with predators, and no living thing can get away from the unavoidable battle that will prompt its demise. Santiago lives as indicated by his own perception: “man isn’t made for rout  [a] man can be pulverized yet not crushed.”

In Hemingway’s picture of the world, demise is unavoidable, yet the best men (and creatures), in any case, will not surrender to its capacity. In like manner, man and fish will battle until the very end, just as ravenous sharks will devastate to an elderly person’s trophy get.

The tale recommends that it is conceivable to rise above this characteristic law. The very certainty of pulverization makes the terms that permit a commendable man or brute to rise above it.

It is definitely through the push to fight the unavoidable that a man can substantiate himself. Without a doubt, a man can demonstrate this assurance repeatedly, through the value of the adversaries he decides to confront. Santiago finds the marlin deserving of a battle, similarly as he once found “the incredible negro of Cienfuegos” commendable. His profound respect for these rivals brings love and regard into a condition with death, as their annihilation turns into a state of respect and grit that affirms Santiago’s gallant characteristics. One may describe the condition as the working out of the announcement “Since I love you, I need to execute you”.

Alternately, one may draw a corresponding to the artist John Keats and his request that magnificence must be appreciated in the second before death, as magnificence bows to obliteration. Santiago, however, crushed toward the finish of the novella, is rarely crushed. Rather, he rises as a legend. Santiago’s battle does not empower him to change man’s place on the planet. On the other hand, maybe, it empowers him to meet his most honorable predetermination.