Theme of the novel the Old Man And the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
In "The Old Man and the Sea", Hemingway wishes to prove that "man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated". He is successful in convincing us that "pain does not matter to a man" when he has "resolution" and the "unconquerable will". It also proves that man is invincible despite his humble disposition. Santiago, an experienced fisherman, has been without a single fish for eighty four days. His fellow fishermen make fun of him. Often, Santiago has to go hungry. People call him "salao". But he does not give in despite his old age and weakness.
He goes for fishing every day with the same faith believing "every day is a new day" and "it is silly not to hope". The consistent efforts of our dear Santiago help him catching a big marlin on eighty fifth day. We are amazed his wonderful 48 hours struggle with the marlin, his spearing and clubbing of the sharks prove his bravery and courage. Despite hostile Nature and bad luck, Santiago gives his best to prove that it is the will which matters and not the might. Therefore, Santiago shows us: "what a man can do and what a man endures"
He loses the marlin to the sharks but not his courage and will. Indeed, Santiago does suffer wounds, pain, hunger, thirst and misery of loneliness but remains constant in his efforts to prove what a man is worth. Though Santiago remains unlucky and cannot save the fish yet he has moral victory.