The Old Man and the Sea is a tale about an old Cuban fisherman and his three-day battle with a giant Marlin. Through the use of an outstanding theme: ''A man can be destroyed, but not defeated,'' The Old Man and the Sea" strives to teach important
Life lessons to the reader. In the story Santiago's bravery is supreme, yet it is not until he hooks the "great fish" that we truly see his courage and persistence.
At first, Santiago's dilemma seems quite hopeless. He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish, and he is the butt of all the jokes of his small village people, who nicknamed him 'salao 'or 'desafortunado' since he did not catch any fish for a long period.
Nonetheless, he gave their insulting words a cold shoulder and went on fishing, relying only on God. Moreover, reading Hemingway's words about his hero in which he says: '' every thing about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated'' P.6, highlights the notion that Santiago was triumphant and victorious. Metaphorically speaking, if someone's eyes are glimmering and are bright, this means that he is having a strong well and persistence regardless of how much his body seems pale or tired, which is typical to Santiago's case.
Although Santiago has had many troubles he keeps on. He has faith in Manolin, in the Yankees, in Joe DiMaggio, and most importantly in himself. This is perhaps his greatest attribute because without it he would never have had the strength to persevere and defeat the giant sharks.
Some might argue and say that he was defeated as he is the one who said: 'they beat me Manolin they truly beat me' P. 112. However, I respond to them by saying: It is the physical defeat that the old man is being ill with and is suffering of, but as far as his faith, spirit, and persistence are concerned he is still well-built and is willing to fight more and more and he is the one who said, I argue, 'fight them' I'll fight them until I die' P. 104. In addition, he is the one who said ' It is silly not to hope, besides I believe it is a sin'' P. 94
De hecho, I see that we should use this extraordinary story as a remedial aid for desperate and depressed people who need a great vigor for enduring their struggle in this life. They should say as the boy, Manolin, said :"I'll bring the luck by myself."
In this story, Hemingway represents a distinction between two different types of success: outer-material and inner-spiritual. While the old man lacks the former, the importance of this lack is eclipsed by his possession of the later. He teaches all people the triumph of inevitable spirit over exhaustible resources. Santiago as a perfectionist man tells us: To be a man is to behave with honor and dignity, not to give in to suffering, to accept one's duties without complaint, and most importantly to have maximum self-control.
At the end of the story he mentions, "A man is not made for defeat...a man can be destroyed but not defeated''. Like Christ, Santiago represents all those people who pass difficulties and gain the ability to change death into life and defeat into success.
In my opinion, Santiago is a man whom we should all respect and honor because the sacrifices he presents are unbearable to lots of people; it is even rare to have such model these days. I admit that there are some, and I myself witnessed some. The late leader of Hamas movement, Ahmed Yasin, for instance, is a typical example for people who are not defeated. The man was semi-totally paralyzed and imprisoned in his wheel chair, yet he could cause a severe insomnia and agitation to the Israeli forces. This novella demonstrates that even when all is lost and seems hopeless a willful heart and faith will overcome anything. Once, a wise man named Charles Luckman said ''success is that old Abc ability, breaks, and courage.'