Real Teens Read: The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

Our Real Teens Read literature discussion group met this week to discuss Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

A few of the moms weren’t too enthusiastic about this book choice. They commented that it is the most boring book they’ve ever read and that they basically hated it. Uh oh — I’ve got my work cut out for me with this one! The teens, I am happy to say, really enjoyed it. Some of them even read the book twice! Hemingway is one of my favorite authors, so I am so pleased that the teens kept an open mind with this one.

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We’ve discussed Hemingway’s time period before in the group when we read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, but we revisited it a bit this time. We talked about The Lost Generation and the events that made up The Jazz Age. We talked about Hemingway’s unique use of language, and the teens had the option of choosing a passage from the novel and illustrating it.

We read these poems to accompany the novel:

  • “A Learned Man Came to Me Once” by Stephen Crane
  • “In the Desert” by Stephen Crane
  • “Silence” by Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • “Sea Fever” by John Masefield
  • “On His Blindness” by John Milton
  • “The Lake of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats

For our activity, we watched the movie Life of Pi, and some of the teens will be comparing The Old Man and the Sea to this movie for their research essays.

The Old Man and the Sea
“Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when he seemed indifferent to my suffering, he was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, he gave me rest. Then he gave me a sign to continue my journey.” –Life of Pi

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