In the book named ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ by Ernst Hemingway, one of the famous quotes was “A man can be destroyed but not defeated”. The quote is about a man’s persistence towards achievement of what he wants to achieve despite all kinds of taunts, adversities and sufferings. He works real hard so as to turn the defeat into victory and as a result portrays the success of human spirit in overcoming the problems of life and taking control over oneself; thereby converting the same into success.
In the story; this quote is used when after 84 days the Cuban fishermen finally finished with a very huge marlin. However, it took him 3 days to conquer the marlin as it was very huge. But, the big fish and he was attacked by a lot of sharks on their way back. In the end, the only parts which remained of the dish were its vertebra, head and tail.
But, he regards every other day as a fresh day and as a result never gave up his hopes. Even after losing his tool he continued to fight with the sharks; his bravery was proven again. And thus the author used the quote “Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated”; wherein the character uses these words when the first shark took away about 40 pounds of the fish. It was in this quote that the whole meaning of the book was explained; this quote gave me a very realistic lesson which was in his simple words and not in some heroic behavior.
Getting totally spoiled or ruined is known as destruction. This destruction was experienced by Santiago. Even though he was being crushed as it didn’t catch a single fish in the first 84 days but it was his pride and spirit which stopped defeat. He was physically destroyed during the fight with the marlin. He knew he had to overcome his destruction and as a result he didn’t let off the fish even though he had the option to spare his life by letting the fish go.