The Old Man and the Sea Topics for Further Study
by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea book cover
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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • Throughout The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago expresses his feelings about nature. Today, the protection of our natural environment is often in the news. Do some research on environmental issues and write an essay comparing Santiago’s attitude about nature to modern theories of environmentalism. Would Santiago be considered an environmentalist today?
  • Manolin undergoes a change between the beginning and the end of the novel. What do you think causes this change? Find specific examples from the story to support your opinion. Then write an essay comparing the “old” Manolin from the beginning of the story to the “new” Manolin who has emerged by the end.
  • Most of Ernest Hemingway’s heroes are young men, but Santiago, as the title reveals, is an old man. Why do you think the author chose to tell this story from an older person’s perspective? How might the story have been different if the hero had been a young man? Present your ideas in an essay and use examples from the text to support your conclusions.