A man can be destroyed but not defeated in The Old Man and The Sea

This luminous explanation has been taken from Ernest Hemingway’s famous novella The Old Man and the Sea. This remarkable word is uttered by Santiago. He relates these words for showing his uncompromising courage during his fight against the sharks to save the Marlin.   

More Notes:  The Old Man and The Sea

The great Marlin fish is being killed by Santiago. After a lot of struggles, he becomes successful to kill the Marlin. Then he started to sail for home. Suddenly a shark attacks the Marlin. Santiago realizes that he is in great trouble. He decided to fight against the shark. He continues to fight. But the shark hits the Marlin snatching out forty pounds of flesh in one blow. But Santiago continues to hit him with a harpoon. The shark sinks out of sight with the harpoon with him.   

More Notes: Suggestions

The reaction to Santiago was like the shark attacked him not the Marlin. But the shark again attacks the Marlin. He will not leave the Marlin without finishing its flesh. So, Santiago becomes so much more violent and attacks the shark applying his full energy. He encourages himself thinking that man can be destroyed but not defeated. Santiago killed the shark because he is more intelligent than the shark and better armed.   


The character of Santiago Hemingway revealed that defeat is a psychological fact. Mental defeat leads us to misfortune. If we stand strongly against all troubles, nothing can defeat us even death. 

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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