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Danny McKay 2/20/11 Honors Am Lit 8th Hour It has been said that The Old Man and

the Sea has characteristics of a simple fable, a significant parable, and a dramatic epic, making it an extremely well rounded novel. Hemingway used his story of Santiago to demonstrate great symbolism and teaching, which were usually much deeper than words on a page. The Old Man and the Sea is told to have the simplicity of a fable, which is defined as a short tale used to teach a moral (Dictionary.com). And it is not hard to argue that the novel seems very simple at first glance. Hemingway uses stripped-down writing and descriptions to tell a story, with run on sentences and bland imagery. He gives us a very simple theme of man vs. nature, yet elaborates on it greatly as the story goes. The moral of the story is the struggle between Santiago and the sea, and his will and perseverance despite eighty-five days without catching a fish. He is given almost insurmountable obstacles, and although he comes home with what was once a fish, he is victorious. Another feature of The Old Man and the Sea is the significance of a parable. A parable is defined as a short allegory to teach a religious moral (Dictionary.com). The most famous example of parables is in the Bible, where they were used as tools for Jesus to teach his lessons. There are many examples of religion in The Old Man and the Sea, with numerous references to the life and death of Jesus Christ and symbolism between God and man. The significance of these comparisons is knowing how much more there is to the story behind the simplicity of the structure; the meaning of the words far outweighs the words themselves. Finally, Hemingway's novel is said to have the drama of an epic. The word epic (as a noun) means a poem or story describing heroic deeds (Dictionary.com). The stories of these epics usually include larger-than-life characters overcoming impossible odds, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. At times Santiago becomes this class of hero, fending off sharks with whatever is in arms reach and

catching a fish nearly three times his size. This feat gives another dimension to the story, now giving it simplicity, meaning, and action. Hemingway's use of Santiago as a hero greatly improves the story and makes the novel worth the read. The Old Man and the Sea is one of the most well-rounded novels of modern times, and rightfully considered as Ernest Hemingway's masterpiece. It incorporates themes of morals, religion, and action to create a story much deserving of its praise.

"fable." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Feb. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fable>. "parable." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Feb. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parable>. "epic." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 20 Feb. 2011. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/epic>.