The Reconfiguration of Sisyphean Myth in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Akwanya’s Orimili

Greg Omeje, Chibuzo Onunkwo


A literary work fascinates scholars and critics in different ways which may be based on literary experience or interest. In whichever perspective, literature engages the mind with multiplicity of interpretations. Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and Akwanya’s Orimili have been studied in varied ways but no study, as far as this research is concerned, has looked at either or both texts from the view of configuration of the myth of Sisyphus. Here is a reading that intends to look at the mythic patterns in the two works with respect to the characters of Santiago and Ekwenze Orimili, the protagonists. In the study, attempt is made to define the Sisyphean features, and establish how the patterns are configured in the two texts. The study uses the tool of archetypal criticism, from the perspectives of Northrop Frye, to examine these similar discursive formations in the texts. The study establishes that mythic thinking gives literature rootedness in tradition, and universal appeal.


Sisyphus, Myth(ic), Desire and Anguish, Absurdity, Archetype, Mythic Ideation

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