BA English Notes: The Old Man And The Sea, “Man Can Be Destroyed, But Not Defeated”

Write a note on Old Man’s fight with sharks.   or     Explain this sentence, “Man can be destroyed, but not defeated”.


The story of Santiago is the story of undefeated courage. Santiago is an aged fisherman. He is awfully tired. An hour later, a shark appears in the sea. With the arrival of shark his pitiable tragedy begins. The first is Makao.

  The struggle with the sharks comes at a time, when his hands are sore and the muscles of this back and shoulders are aching and he is tired to his bones. In spite of this condition, he is standing ready with is harpoon when he hears the shark tearing the Marlin’s flesh, just before he drives the point of his weapon into Makao’s brain. He succeeds in killing shark but when it sinks, it takes with it fourty pounds of the Marlin’s flesh and the old man’s harpoon as well.

Santiago‘s is filled with deep regret at this loss. He fears that the Marlin’s blood will attract other sharks. When the sharks attack the Marlin, Santiago feels as if he himself is attacked. He feels sorry for the Marlin. He gathers his strength by telling himself as,” Man can be destroyed, but not defeated”. Having no harpoon, Santiago improvises a weapon by lashing his knife to the butt of one of his oars. He becomes hopeful he knows that he cannot stop other sharks and he also realizes that a very bad time is coming for him.

After an interval of two hours, he sees two more sharks approaching “AY” is the only word that he utters and which conveys a deep feeling of pain. He identifies the new sharks. After a short struggle, he kills both of them but the sharks tear the best meat of the marlin before their death. Now again Santiago regrets the hooking of the Marline. By this time his hands have been badly cut and he speaks to them as two fellow-sufferers. He distinguishes between them. The right hand is the good one and trustworthy. The left hand is as always a traitor.

The old man watches another coming his Marlin. The shark jerk violently and the old man’s knife breaks. The shark sinks into the water and old main is left without any weapon except the gaff, the two oars, the tiller and short club. But he is determined to fight with his enemies, as long as he can. At sun set the fifth and sixth sharks are clubbed to death.

The old man resolves to fight them, “I will fight them until I die“. But a whole pack of sharks comes at midnight and Santiago strikes the. By now the marline’s just a Skelton. Now there is no shark because there is no more meat left on the Marlin’s body. He is now sailing without any thought, though, destroyed but not defeated.

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