Back to the Classics Reading Challenge: 20th Century Classic

The Old Man and the Sea is a novella by Ernest Hemingway about an old man fisherman, Santiago, and his remarkable ordeal with the creatures of the sea.

Though The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most famous stories, it was criticized as much as it was praised. Written and published in the early 1950’s, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1952, and helped Hemingway win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.

The Old Man and the Sea tells of the struggles of man against God, nature, humanity, and himself.  Though it is said to be ripe with religious symbolism, I feel that it is more about the struggle of man against nature and the environment and his need to conquer and tame it.  As the ocean teaches Santiago in the end, man has no control over nature and it gives only what it wants to give; and what nature gives to man, it can easily take away.

I chose this book as the the “20th Century Classic” in the Back to the Classics Reading Challenge.  Reading it also achieved my goal of reading works from Nobel Prize for Literature Laureates, although I have read Ernest Hemingway before (A Movable Feast).

2 thoughts on “Back to the Classics Reading Challenge: 20th Century Classic

  1. I’ve been putting off this one for as long as I can remember. I’m not a fan of Hemingway’s novels, but I do love his short stories. A novella would be somewhere in between, I’d deduce. Did you enjoy it?

  2. Yes, it’s only about a hundred pages, depending on your copy, but it is fairly short. Took me about 3 hours to read, and I’m a slow reader.

    Yes, I liked it, but it didn’t blow me away like I thought it would. The novel is so talked about that I thought it would be amazing. I didn’t think it was amazing, but it was pretty good.

    You should read it. If you don’t like it, at least you would have only wasted a few hours of your life 🙂

    This is just the second book of Hemingway that I read. I loved A Movable Feast though…one of my all-time favorites.

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