UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea narrates the struggle of a fisherman with a large marlin on the sea and the sharks which try to eat away his catch. Written in the post-war world, this novel describes the story of the indomitable human spirit and persistence in the face of adversity. However, this struggle can be read as having another related meaning. This paper attempts to explore the historical background in which Hemingway wrote his novel. Hemingway had participated in many wars including World War II and his experiences were bound to reflect in his novels subsequently. The Old Man and the Sea then can be read as an allegorical narrative representing the conflict during World War II between the warring groups. And the victory can be interpreted in not just the physical but in the cultural sense as well.
Keywords: World War II, allegory, persistence, struggle, cultural symbol