Or as Hemingway puts it: “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Luck plays a major role in the story and in our everyday lives, and to a superstitious lot like fishermen, poor luck can seem paralyzing.In Santiago’s little Cuban fishing village he is labeled “salao, which is the worst form of unlucky,” after having gone eighty-four days without taking a single fish.Old age is a common excuse, and for certain things it is legitimate, but all too often it is used either where it has no place or before any effort has been made to prove the assumption wrong.
For it can will a man to never give up and to keep on trying.
His catch does not bring him money nor “success,” but it does provide him with a legacy that will endure far beyond any monetary gain ever could have.
For he retains his own integrity in the face of great challenge; he exhausts himself in a good fight.
Anyone can have luck of course, but not everyone one can have determination, skill, and perseverance.
Santiago knows this and therefore believes in his ability rather than chance. “I’ll bring the luck with me.” He does this by not taking any shortcuts in his work.