An Analysis of Santiago as a Christ Figure in The Old …
Santiago emerges as a Christ figure
The characters in The Old Man and the Sea are in actuality, major figures in the . Santiago is an old man, yet he had young eyes. No matter how defeated he was, he would never show it and he would look on the brighter side of things. In my mind, these traits make Santiago a god-like figure. Manolin, which translates into Messiah, is Jesus (Stoltzfus qtd in CLC 13:280). Santiago is the "father" who teaches his symbolic son and disciple, Manolin. After catching the largest marlin, Manolin will leave his parents in order to follow the teachings of Santiago, his master, just as Jesus did (Stoltzfus qtd in CLC 13:280). Pedrico is actually , Jesus' closest apostle and a great fisherman (Wilson 50). Peter helped Jesus fish for souls as Pedrico helped Manolin fish for food. Santiago gives Pedrico the head of the mutilated marlin which symbolizes Saint Peter as head of the Christian church and the first Pope (Stoltzfus CLC 280).
Santiago is the primary Christ-like figure
"Ay', he said out loud." (Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea 107) There is no meaning of "Ay", but perhaps it is the sound a man makes as his hands are nailed to wood (Brenner, The Old Man and the Sea, Story of a Common Man 38).
Next, once back on shore, Santiago climbs the hill to his shack, with the mast on his shoulder, falling several times (Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea 121). This is an obvious reference to Christ's struggle to carry the cross up the hill Cavalry (Crossan, The Historical Jesus 163).