Like many people I read "The Old Man and the Sea" when I was in high school, and it was assigned to me. I remember a lot of the gory details, such as Santiago's hands being cut by the fishing lines and how he ate raw fish, but I also finished this classic by Hemingway with a respect for a culture and a way of life that had been totally foreign to me. I just remember closing the book and thinking, "I like this story." Maybe it is the simplicity of it, or the love between the old man and the boy, or the respect and love the old man has for the big fish and the sea in general, that stirred my feelings for this brief novel. For this reason, I was excited as I began to read this famous tale to my children. Curiously enough the gore didn't jump out at me, this time around. Santiago didn't cut his hands nearly as much as I remember. The raw fish he consumed seemed less disgusting, and that may be due to the fact that I now look forward to a sushi dinner, at my favorite restaurant. I must say that there was symbolism that flew by my young brain in high school, but the constant was my love for this simple story. My kids enjoyed it and tomorrow we will begin writing assignments and use the following links to get a glimpse into the life of the well travelled, Ernest Hemingway.
Have you read this story? Did you read it with your children? What did you/they enjoy the most?
The Old Man and the Sea
Creative Writing - This is a guided imagery exercise.
Discussion Questions - This is a very thorough list of questions regarding the text and symbolism.
Photos of his life viewed chronologically. I really enjoyed scrolling through these.
Gregorio Fuentes - Thought to be the inspiration for Santiago, in the Old Man and The Sea. He was also Hemingway's friend and captain for 30 years.
Hemingway - And all things related to him and his biography are featured here.
Interactive PBS Biography - This is a really wonderfully created website that chronicles his life from birth to Italy, Paris, Spain, Africa, Key West, Cuba, and finally the American West. Also featured here is a classroom assignment link.
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