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Lesson 5: The Old Man and the Sea

Lesson 5: The Old Man and the Sea


Published in 1952, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is a story about the price we must pay to commit fully to our beliefs and dreams. In Hemingway’s novella (short novel), you’ll meet an experienced old fisherman who faces life-changing challenges both with nature and himself.

As with Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye, the first part of The Old Man and the Sea (pages 1 through 27) provides initial sketches of the main characters and setting. In these opening pages, pay particular attention to the interaction between the old man and the boy. What does this interaction reveal about their relationship? Answer this question, and you’ll begin to see what’s important in Hemingway’s novel.