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old man and the sea
Agreed!

Please elaborate on the line "man can be destroyed but can not be defeated"

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You can be destroyed ... there are forces in the universe, some man made some natural, that have the ability to destroy us, to take away our lives -- to kill us.  But death is not the ultimate defeat, at least for Hemingway.  For him, death, destruction, is a given ... it awaits all of us.  What really counts is what we do as we await the inevitable.  We are defeated if we do not live honorably, according to our code.

This is what happens in this novel.  Santiage is destroyed ... not in the sense of the totality of death, but both he and the fish are destroyed by the sharks.  But he is not defeated.  He fought the fish with honor, just as the fish fought him with honor.  They both behaved according to the "rules" --- did all they could.  There is nothing more that a man/fish can do; there is nothing more to be expected.

 

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