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Inner Happiness in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

Inner Happiness in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea

Hemingway’s view of human nature was that happiness was rare and was found within a man and not in his outside circumstances or surroundings. Hemingway illustrates this in three ways. First, he portrays the human nature of Santiago, the main character, as being one of humility and compassion, full of strength and pride. He is shown not as a gleefully happy man, but one who meets life with a serene, quiet resilience. Second, Santiago’s fellow villagers are shown as shallow and materialistic, with a narrow view of life compared to his. Their focus on appearances is in sharp contrast to Santiago’s focus on intrinsic values. Third, it will be shown that his rare brand of happiness comes from within.

Poignant circumstances surrounded the composition of this novel, which bring out many of the above points. It is widely recognized that Hemingway was possessed of a turbulent personality and suffered from emotional depression. This was despite the fact that he enjoyed much critical acclaim. The Old Man and the Sea was written after a ten-year hiatus of public and critical approval. This period saw much of his work receive negative criticism in literary and journalistic circles. This affected Hemingway adversely and very deeply (Carey 9). Therefore, Hemingway’s personal battle with seeming failure in his life’s work and society’s attendant criticism parallel Santiago’s stoic resolve in the face of his neighbors’ disdain. The author’s struggles symbolically match those of Santiago and set the stage for the writing of this novel.

The acclaim generated by this book was due largely to the author’s ” complex knotting of spiritual and phys…

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Gardiner, Patrick. Schopenhauer. Middlesex, England: Penguin , 1963.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.

Hutchins, Robert Maynard, ed. Great Books of the Western World. 54 vols. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1952. Vol. 1.

Plato. The Dialogues of Plato. Trans. Benjamin Jowett. Great Books of the Western World. 54 vols. Chicago:Encyclopaedia Britannica 1952. Vol. 7.

Schopenhauer, Arthur. Counsels and Maxims. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Amherst, New York:Prometheus Books, 1995.

– – -. On the Basis of Morality. Trans. E.F.J. Payne. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. 1965.

– – -. The Wisdom of Life. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 1995.

Waggonner, Eric. “Inside the Current: A Taoist Reading of The Old Man and the Sea” Hemingway Review Spring 1998.

Archetypal Characters and Symbols in The Phantom of the Opera

Archetypal Characters and Symbols in The Phantom of the Opera

The story of The Phantom of the Opera appeals to many types of personalities and people of all ages because of its archetypal characters and patterns. Carl Jung theorized that we are born with innate tendencies to perceive things a certain way: “a kind of readiness to reproduce over and over again the same or similar mythical ideas . . .”1. These repeated ideas are archetypes. The basic legend of The Phantom takes place in 19th century Paris, and is that of a young and talented, but untrained singer named Christine. Erik, the Phantom, is a disfigured genius of many fields, including music, architecture, magic, and science. His fatal flaw stems from his strong dislike and mistrust of the rest of the human race, which has been very unkind to him throughout his life. He encounters Christine in the Paris Opera House, becomes infatuated with her, and initially claims to be her otherworldly musical tutor. Conflict occurs when Christine is torn between Erik’s dark and passionate world, and her innocent love for the well-bred Raoul. These fundamentals of the story of The Phantom are kept in tact among the versions, while changes are made to target the adaptation to a certain audience. Another common attraction is to the personality of Erik, a character often repeated in literature. Erik’s relationship with Christine also encompasses many archetypal patterns, and the love triangle among Christine, Erik and Raoul is a recurring human behaviour2. In addition, there are several object-oriented archetypes throughout the story. Repetition of patterns and characters in The Phantom of the Opera creates a universal appeal for the tale.

The bas…

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…anges to target the legend to different types of people, but the archetypes always remain.

1 Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, 7

2 Anthony Pena, Unus Mundus: Archetypes and Dreams

3 Kate McMullan, The Phantom of the Opera, 5

4 Amazon.com sales rank as of May 2000

5 Charlotte Vale Allen, Night Magic, 203

6 Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera, 334

7 Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order, 155

8 Charles Darwin, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals

9 Joseph Henderson, “Ancient Myths and Modern Man,” Man and His Symbols, Carl Jung, ed., 152

10 Anthony Pena, Unus Mundus: Archetypes and Dreams

11 Angela Mattos, The Labyrinth

12 InDreaMensions, Archetypes Glossary

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

15 John L. Flynn, Phantoms of the Opera: The Man Behind the Mask

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