The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway’s romantic adventure of man and marlin, The Old Man and the Sea, has perhaps spent more time on high school freshman English reading lists than any other work of fiction, which might lead one to think of the novel as young adult fiction. But beyond the book’s ability to communicate broad themes of perseverance, courage, and loss, it has an appeal that also reaches old, wizened men like Hemingway’s Santiago and young, imaginative boyish apprentices like his Manolin. The 1952 novella reinvigorated Hemingway’s career, won him a Pulitzer Prize, and eventually contributed to his Nobel win in 1954. And luckily for all those high school English students, Hemingway’s story has lent itself to some worthy screen adaptations, including the 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy as the indefatigable Spanish-Cuban fisherman and a 1990 version with the mighty Anthony Quinn in the role.


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