Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Old Man and the Sea
- When Written: 1951
- Where Written: Cuba
- When Published: 1952
- Literary Period: Modernism
- Genre: Fiction (novella); Parable
- Setting: Late 1940s; a fishing village near Havana, Cuba, and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico
- Climax: When Santiago finally harpoons and kills the marlin; when Santiago fights off the final pack of sharks
- Antagonist: The marlin; the sharks
- Point of View: Third-person omniscient, although largely limited to Santiago's point of view
Awards: The Old Man and the Sea was the last major work of fiction Hemingway wrote. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and contributed to Hemingway's selection for the Nobel Prize in 1954.
Criticism of the Critics: Hemingway's novel Across the River and Into the Trees, published in 1950, met with severe negative criticism, although Hemingway said he considered it his best work yet. When The Old Man and the Sea was published to great acclaim, some viewed the story as Hemingway's symbolic attack on literary critics—the elderly master fighting and triumphing over his long-time adversaries.