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The Old Man And The Sea Heroism Triumph over crushing adversity is the heart of heroism and in order for Santiago the fisherman to be a heroic emblem for humankind his tribulations must be monumental Triumph though is never final as Santiagos successful slaying of the marlin shows else there would be no reason to include the final 30 pages of the book Hemingway vision of heroism is Sisyphean requiring continuous labor for quintessentially ephemeral ends What the hero does is to face adversity with dignity and grace hence Hemingways Neo-Stoic emphasis on self-control and the other facets of his idea of manhood What we achieve or fail at externally is not as significant to heroism as the comporting ourselves with inner nobility As Santiago says Man is not made for defeatA man can be destroyed but not defeated 103 At first Santiagos plight seems rather hopeless He has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish and he is the laughingstock of his small village Regardless of his past the old man determines to change his luck and sail out farther than he or the other fishermen ever have before His commitment to sailing out to where the big fish are testifies to the depth of his pride Later after the sharks have destroyed his prize marlin Santiago chastises himself for his hubris claiming that it has ruined both the marlin and himself Yet Santiagos pride also enables him to achieve what he otherwise would not Not until he meets and battles the marlin are his skills as a fisherman truly put to the test In other words the pride that leads to the destruction of his quarry also helps him earn the deeper respect of the village fisherman and secures him the prized companionship of the boy Pride While important Hemingways treatment of pride in the novella is ambivalent A heroic man like Santiago should have pride in his actions
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