The Old Man and the Sea

what does the quote A man can be destroyed but not defited means?

A man can be destroyed but not defited

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Last updated by Aslan
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It means that a man can fight to the end never relinquishing his honour or ideals. Even though he may be destroyed his ideas and values were never defeated. In Santiago's case, he would not have minded dying at the hands (of fins?) of the great marlin. The fish was a worthy opponent and Santiago died like the man he remembered himself rather than a man defeated, old and feeble.