Destroyed but Not Defeated, Hemingwayt

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea, Human Pages: 3 (1283 words) Published: December 10, 2010
A man can be destroyed but not defeated

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent and what leads to destroyal. The Old Man and the Sea is one of the finest works of literature of the 20th century, and was published in 1952 after the bleakest ten years in Hemingway's literary career. It helps the author Ernest Hemingway win a Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. It is the deceivingly simple story of an old Cuban fisherman, named Santiago, who undergoes the most difficult struggle of his life. The courage and determination of an old fisherman shines through while trying to catch a fish that will truly test his ability and spirit. Even though destroyed at the end of the novel he remains undefeated.

Both words “defeated” and “destroyed” suggest a battle, a challenge, the calumny of life. And that is exactly what Santiago is faced to. He is old and his best days had gone by, he has not caught anything for eighty-four days. On the eighty-fifth day he goes very far out to sea and hooks a marlin. Santiago endures a great struggle with an uncommonly large and noble marlin only to lose the fish to rapacious sharks on his way back to land. Despite this loss, Santiago ends the novella with his spirit undefeated. He represents the courage, strength and endurance of the human race. He struggled between love and hate like all men do. Santiago struggles with the fish as humans often do with their faith. Santiago loves the fish as men love their gods, and he hates the fish as men sometimes hate their gods. The fish was beautiful and huge and Santiago felt a connection with it, he considered it his brother. “I am not religious,” he said. “But I will say ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys that I should catch this fish, and I promise to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Cobre if I catch him. That is a promise.”(14) Hemingway implies that Santiago is not a religious man. But he seems to have some faith as shown by his offers to say...
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