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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea


by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea Defeat Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Day.Paragraph). We artificially created chapters by defining "days," because there are no chapter breaks in The Old Man and the Sea. Here’s how we divided up the days:
  • Day 1 = the start of the book until the old man falls asleep for the night
  • Day 2 = begins when the old man wakes up and goes until sunrise of the next day
  • Day 3 = begins at sunrise and goes until the old man dreams about the lions
  • Day 4 = begins when the old man wakes and ends when the old man gets back to his shack for the night
  • Day 5 = begins with the boy seeing the old man in the morning and goes until the end of the book

Quote #10

The wind is our friend, anyway, he thought. Then he added, sometimes. And the great sea with our friends and our enemies. And bed, he thought. Bed is my friend. Just bed, he thought. Bed will be a great thing. It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought.

"Nothing," he said aloud. "I went out too far." (4.171, 4.172)

The old man seems to say that he was beaten by himself, by his own poor judgment, rather than any other force.

Quote #11

"They beat me, Manolin," he said. "They truly beat me."

"He didn’t beat you. Not the fish."

"No. Truly. It was afterwards." (5.22-5.24)

The old man leaves us wondering who are the "they" that beat him – the sharks, or something more?

Quote #12

"I know how to care for them. In the night I spat something strange and felt something in my chest was broken." (5.44)

The old man is physically defeated by the end of the story, but his spirit is not broken, as he still dreams of the lions.

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