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A Man Can Be Beaten But Not Defeated, How Santiago Avoids Defeat In "The Old Man And The Sea"

1530 words - 7 pages

"They beat me, Manolin...they truly beat." The first thing that one should consider when addressing this question is what does it mean to be beaten? Beaten in this context should not be interpreted literally as it actually means to be defeated. Bearing this in mind would I agree with Santiago's evaluation of the outcome of his adventure at sea? The answer to that question would most definitely be no. Santiago states this on (Page 103) when he says, "But a man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated."After reading this outstanding novel written by Ernest Hemingway, I am strongly of the view that even though Santiago suffered an immense loss at the end of the novel, he ...view middle of the document...

"My choice was to go there and find him beyond all people. Beyond all people in the world. Now we are joined together and have been since noon" a (Page50) .This show us how strong willed and determined Santiago is and also that he will not give in to defeat as mentioned before.The narrator can be seen placing emphasis on Santiago's perseverance in the opening pages by the old man's description which said, "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated" (Page 10). We learn from this that even though he has gone eighty-four days without a single catch he still has hope. Even though his physical appearance might give us the impression that he is not capable of handling a challenging situation, the description of his eyes implicitly tells us that he will be fully capable to handle the challenges when the time comes.Despite the fact that Santiago's adventure at sea will bring about what seems to be defeat, because after having to hold the fishing line for days, even though it was cutting deeply into his palms and causing him excruciating pain the marlin will be mutilated by sharks, and we will see where the he feels a lot of pain for the fish who has been devoured (Page 103). We should not lose sight of the fact that in the end the old man will emerge a victor because the obliteration enables him to undergo a remarkable change, and gain triumph from seeing his so called defeat.Throughout the novel we can see Manolin constantly expressing his fondness for and faith in Santiago. One instance of this can be seen on (Page 23) when Manolin says, "There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only one you." By doing this he establishes his mentor as a figure of significant moral and professional stature despite the difficulties of the last eighty-four days. And even though the other fishermen poke fun at Santiago, Manolin knows his true worth and the extent of his knowledge.Santiago's pride which he criticizes and holds responsible for the destruction of the marlin can also be seen as a positive thing because, it is his pride that allowed him to realize his genuine and absolute capabilities. It is also his pride that has enabled him to endure such an epic struggle, and prevent him from ultimately being defeated. Therefore it is evident through Santiago's character that pride can inspire men to greatness.From the novella we get a sense that the world is a place where death and destruction is inevitable and is therefore a part of the natural order of things. So in order to survive in the world Santiago needs to make a choice between defeat and endurance, and clearly he chose endurance. So having choose to endure he dismissed defeat by all means. For example, we see where he forces himself to eat the dolphin he caught so he could have strength to endure the battle.Santiago character is elevated above that of the typical...

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