24. SANTIAGO’S DREAMS
IMPORTANCE OF PAST MEMORIES
Q:15 Write a note on the old man’s dreams. Or What the importance is of dreamt in the novel? P.U 1996, 2001. or What do the dreams of lions indicate? Explain the following extract. Or He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places and of the lions on the beach. Or What does Santiago dream about? What does that dream signify? PU-Q6G-I
Ans: The dreams of lions have great importance Santiago’s life because they remind him of youth. He gets courage, hope, inspiration, will power and strength from them in the hour of trouble. Santiago was especially in a happy mood whenever he talked of lions and their movements. In the beginning of the novel, he told Manolin happily that in his childhood he had seen lions on the beaches of Africa. Santiago was in a habit of dreaming of lions, the boy, DiMaggio and his contest with a Negro in his youth. Dreams have played a vital and symbolic role in the novel. Santiago had spent an energetic life as a fisherman. He had faced great storms, fought many contests of hand-game and caught big fish. He dreamed of all these things in his old age. These dreams helped him to forget his loneliness and helplessness. Hemingway tells us during the adventure with the giant fish and then fight with sharks, he no more wanted to dream of storms, of women, of great fish, of his beloved wife or competitions of strength. He wanted to dream of only lions on the beach of Africa. These lions would give him strength and courage. In his childhood, he had seen lion playing on the African seacoast. The image of playful beasts he kept alive in his mind ever afterwards. He also wished to have bpyvwitli him during the fight with the big fish and sharks. The novel, in a way presents the wisdom and experience of old age joined with the youthful energy of ManoHri and naked power of the lions. 268
25. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA AS A SYMBOLIC
‘The Old Man And The Sea’ is aptly a symbolic novel. Symbol is a literary term used to show something else mentioned in the lines. Each of its character and incident represents human life and its values in broader sense. Hemingway treats his art as exactly as the old man treats his vocation of fishing. The novel is full of symbolic meanings.
The old man stands for the courageous men who fight fearlessly for their rights. His going into deep sea represents commission of mistakes and man’s suffering because of them. It also shows human being in conflicts with the forces of nature.
Christian allegory has been used in this novel to link Santiago with Jesus Christ. Like Christ Santiago undergoes pain and suffering. For instance, he feels as if the nails had been driven through his lacerated hands. He suffers a kind of crucifixion.
Like Christ, Santiago shows the qualities of humility and compassion. The writer has used Christian symbols throughout the story. Santiago is an embodiment of Christian virtues, like piety, humility and charity. His dreams of lions show his daring psychology.
The sharks symbolise the cruel and greedy forces which are bent upon snatching the fruits of the hard labour of a man. Marline represents high aims and ambitions of human being. The continuous resistance of the marlin shows that the way to success is full of hardships. In human experience, there are many forms of both marlin and sharks.
The sea represents life in general. It is full of happiness and unknown dangers. Same is human life which is always unpredictable. Manolin the young boy is the youth of the man. The old man’ wish to have boy with him represents that wish and remembrance of youth and good times are always tied with human life. Hand game with negro represents the physical strength of Santiago. Thinking of Di Maggio shows the source of inspiration. The old man’s attachment with Manolin indicates man’s need for other human beings. We may conclude that The Old Man and the Sea is a great allegorical novel.