AP English 12
In life, everyone faces hardships and challenges, but it’s how a person responds to these tough circumstances that shapes them into who they really are. In Ernest Hemingway’s, The Old Man and the Sea, the main character Santiago states, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated” (Hemingway 103). The word “destroyed,” means to have ruined completely or to have rendered something useless. On the other hand, the term “defeated,” refers to failure to win or get your way. Although these words may seem simple, the readers of this novel can learn so much from them. There is a significant difference between these terms, and Santiago’s thoughts, words, and actions from the beginning to end of the novel are key examples of the differentiation. Santiago, the protagonist of the novel, is a wise old fisherman who has gone eighty-four consecutive days without catching a single fish. One would think that after so many unsuccessful days that Santiago’s spirit would be shattered, but day after day of the extensive fishing drought the old man refuses to let it bring him down. "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated" (Hemingway 10). Instead of giving up and quitting, Santiago decides to head back out into the waters and is set on changing his luck. On the eighty-fifth day, Santiago finds himself in a face off against an eighteen-foot long marlin; however, he is not able to bring the marlin in right away due to its large size and ability to fight back against him. The struggle between Santiago and the humungous fish goes on for what seems like a never ending three days. Santiago isn’t just up against the fish; however, but also is in a constant battle with hunger, exhaustion, and deep cuts on his hands. Nevertheless, he continues to have faith, hope, and trust in himself that he will persevere and conquer all the challenges...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document