Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea has gained global recognition as a literary masterpiece. This novel, although written by an American, is set in Cuba and features cultural elements from Latin America as well as North America. Classrooms around the world use this novel as a means of teaching English to second-language learners because of the comparatively simple grammatical structure and concise word choice.

One specific instance of this is the Chinese classroom, where some students have used The Old Man and the Sea as an introduction to American literature. Hemingway’s work, which has since been translated into Chinese and has had multiple film adaptations, provides teachers with an excellent medium for promoting cultural awareness. Whether known to students as The Old Man and the Sea or 老人与海, the work supports the notion that truly great literature knows no cultural bounds.

This thesis critically examines The Old Man and the Sea both in English and Chinese, analyzes the film version with Chinese subtitles, and provides a cultural-awareness handbook for educators to use while teaching English to middle-school Chinese students.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Professor Walker Rutledge


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | English Language and Literature | Translation Studies