“A man can be destroyed but not defeated”
In the Old man and the sea, Santiago says, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated. (Page 93)” The true statement can be referred to throughout the novel. Santiago is in the end physically destroyed, but mentally he is not defeated. Santiago’s courage and pride pushes him forward throughout the novel, even when it looks like hope is lost, but is never defeated.
Destruction means to completely ruin or spoil. Santiago experienced this destruction. It started with 84 days of not catching anything. He was being crushed but his spirit and pride prevented defeat. During the fight with the marlin, he physically was being destroyed. He had a choice to spare his life and let the fish go but he knew he had to overcome his destruction so he kept at it and caught the fish. And finally, the fight with the sharks was his hardest battle. First of all, it damaged him mentally. He had become fond of the Marlin he killed and said many times how he admired it. And second, he had to fight off the scavengers after three days at sea with little energy. His food only consisted of raw fish so he couldn’t have been in the perfect position to defend the giant marlin, which he used up every ounce of strength to kill.
Defeat means to have been beaten in a battle or a contest. Santiago is never defeated in the novel. Even when he says at the end when Santiago says, “they beat me Manolin, they truly beat me,” (Page 112) we know that Santiago really wasn’t defeated. He defeated his enemies. His enemies throughout the novel were the marlin, the sharks, and Mother Nature. He defeats the marlin by killing it, and defeats mother nature by surviving in the ocean on that skiff for three days. The only battle that has a hazy result is the one between the sharks and Santiago. Santiago was able to defeat the sharks, but not able to save the fish. Even though he won the battle he thinks he is defeated because they were able to take the marlin. But the...
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