Old Man and the Sea

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The Defeat That Won A Life
Throughout History man has suffered from many setbacks and even though these have slowed his progression it has never defeated him. In the fiction novel The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway the main character Santiago undergoes many challenges while fighting the big fish. Even though in the end Santiago lost the fish, he was never defeated. Throughout the novel The Old Man and the Sea Hemingway uses symbolism through Santiago, the marlin, and his nemesis, the sharks to contribute to his theme that “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Throughout the novel Santiago represents determination, bravery, patience, and the ideal everyman through his actions when dealing with obstacles. During Santiago’s fishing expedition the marlin represents the ultimate goal we must obtain. Lastly, the sharks represent our enemies in life and that no matter, what we cannot let them break our spirits.

Santiago’s struggle with life shows his true character and that he is the ideal everyman. His struggle defines determination, patience, and bravery. Santiago first shows his inner character when he maintains his daily fishing even after eighty-four days of coming back empty handed. On the eighty-fourth day the old man comes in empty handed again, but something about him seems strange. When Santiago’s friend, Manolin, looks at him “everything about him was old except his eyes and they were they same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated”(10). Even though Santiago’s body might be starting to fail him his spirit has not. Santiago also represents the highly valued ability to have patience. After the big fish has been hooked and starts swimming at its steady rate out to sea Santiago realizes that this fish will not give up soon. As the sun starts to go down Santiago says softly, aloud “Fish, I'll stay with you until I am dead”(52). Santiago demonstrates patience here and that time cannot defeat him. Lastly, Santiago proves his bravery...
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