The Old Man and the Sea Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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What is the conclusion of the story "The Old Man and the Sea"?

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The Old Man and the Sea ends with Santiago asleep, dreaming of lions on the beaches of Africa, having just renewed his partnership with Manolin (which gives him the opportunity for a fresh start and a more successful and less lonely career). This is his usual dream, which does not vary in prosperity or adversity and takes place on dry land (albeit right on the edge of the land).

This is the conclusion in the sense of an ending, but it also reflects the most famous moral conclusion that Hemingway draws from Santiago's epic struggle at sea, that a man can be destroyed but not defeated. Santiago is not destroyed but he may appear defeated as he stumbles exhausted back to his home just before daybreak. However, he lives to fight another day, with the renewed strength of his partnership with Manolin, and ends the story at peace, dreaming his usual dream.

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