Old Man and the Sea

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ENC 1101
Essay Assignment: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

There is a scene in Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, when after a shark has taken a big chunk “about forty pounds” off Santiago’s prize marlin catch, Santiago begins to doubt whether he should have gone out to sea and wishes that he had never “hooked the fish and was alone in bed on the newspapers” (103). Immediately after that, Santiago says, “But man is not made for defeat . . . A man can be destroyed but not defeated” (103).

Do you find this assertion to be true? Can a man (or a woman) be destroyed but not defeated? Write a five-paragraph essay in which you illustrate the ways in which this statement is either true or false.

I. The introductory paragraph should provide the title and author of the novel and a brief, maybe two-sentence summary of the plot. Then, you should state a thesis along the following lines: It is indeed true that a man can be destroyed but not defeated, and we can see this in Santiago’s struggle with the marlin and in the struggle of _________________ with ____________. OR

It is not true that a man can be destroyed but not defeated, and this is evident when we analyze Santiago’s struggle with the marlin and ____________’s struggle with ___________________.

II. The first body paragraph should explain what it means to be destroyed but not defeated and you should argue whether you think that indeed it is possible to be destroyed but not defeated.

III. In the second body paragraph, explain how and why Santiago is destroyed but not defeated or how he is destroyed and defeated or whatever other option you have chosen to argue.

IV. In the third body paragraph, you may use examples of people in the public eye, in history, or in your personal life, whose experiences prove your thesis.

V. A concluding paragraph that briefly discusses what the lesson of the...
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