The Old Man and the Sea is a novella written by Ernest Hemingway and published in 1952 It tells the tale of Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, who sets out to sea alone to catch a great catch and prove himself to the younger fishermen who have become frustrated by his bad luck. He battles the elements, his own physical strength, and a great marlin fish for 84 days before he comes back to shore with his catch.
The Old Man and the Sea has long been seen as a classic literature in the twentieth century, and its themes of struggle and persistence make it an interesting topic to explore in an essay. Here are five best examples of topics to consider when writing a paper on The Old Man and the Sea:
1. The Symbolic Ties of Santiago and the Marlin Fish: This essay topic could explore the symbolic relationship between Santiago, the old man, and the marlin fish he battles and ultimately brings home. What does Hemingway suggest about the qualities of strength, tenacity, and courage through the battle of Santiago and the marlin fish?
2. The Depth of Characterization in Old Man and the Sea: This paper could discuss the depth of character that Hemingway is able to create with Santiago and the minor characters he encounters. In what ways do they influence him? How do they push him forward in his struggles?
3. Hope in The Old Man and the Sea: In the face of adversity and loneliness, what is the role of hope in the novel? What message does Hemingway convey through Santiago's journey and the story he tells?
4. Naturalism in The Old Man and the Sea: This paper could discuss how Hemingway utilizes elements of naturalism to portray nature and its impact on Santiago. How does the environment around him affect his struggles and journey?
5. The Social Messages of The Old Man and the Sea: This essay topic could analyze the ways in which Hemingway portrays social messages throughout the novel. What is he trying to convey about the struggles of the working class, of age and gender roles, and of inequality in society?