The Old Man and the Sea: Man Defeated

2112 Words Oct 20th, 1999 9 Pages
Reading through the novel The Old Man and the Sea one, as a reader, can perceive several themes in the book. Hemingway suggests certain subjects for discussion which built up the whole plot, therefore giving us options to choose the one we believe is the main one. In the past weeks we have been discussing, in a debate, which is that main theme. My group's theme was "Man Defeated" and although it is hard to affirm that this theme was the prevailing one of the book, we firmly defend it. Various arguments were established. Some argued that the novel's theme was Santiago's struggle, the friendship with the fish and other characters; Santiago's perseverance and that he really ended up as a triumphant man. But to argue that those were also the …show more content…
He is not triumphant , as the book shows with Santiago's words; he feels defeated.

Throughout the book we get the persistent idea of Santiago being beaten, a synonym for defeated. We can divide the idea of being beaten into two: the fact that Santiago knows it and that he accepts it. Showing the knowledge of his situation, the author tells us: "He knew he was beaten now finally and without remedy…"(page 119)."…it is easy when you are beaten. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought"(page120). With these quotes we can see that Santiago knows that he was finally beaten. He knew that the sharks won even though he fought to avoid their triumph. He also tasted how was it like to be defeated, he was living through a not very pleasant experience and he knew it.

The other part, is the one when he accepts his defeat. Santiago mentions: "Now that they have beaten me…"(page 112)and "They beat me …truly beat me" (page 124). All these quotes shows us a reaffirmation of his defeat, of how he feels. He admits his position and it is constantly repeated. He doesn't enjoy what it is called " his success" , mostly he is not showing any sign of joy or even excusing himself saying that he gained honour or recognition. He is sad and knows that has to keep struggling to survive because he lost his only income, all his plans were ruined and we all know how discouraging is.

As far as Hemingway and Santiago are concerned, the old man is not fortunate

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