Using the links and your knowledge of The Young Man and the Sea, answer these questions in paragraph form (paying attention to the requirements on the rubric page.
1. What are the ways you can see the author's life intersecting with this story? How do you think his experiences effected how he wrote the book, where he set it, and how he developed the characters?
2. What is the current state of the bluefin tuna population? How does the value and prestige of this impressive fish affect the biology, diversity, and ecology of the coastal Maine area? What are the implications over over-fishing or amateur fisherman trying to catch a $100,000 trophy?
3. Skiff's entry into the lobster trapping business was fairly non-traditional. How is his introduction different from historical tradition? How would Tyler Croft's behavior be viewed by fisherman who run lobster traps? How is the history of lobster trapping reflected in the story?
4. Why are mudworms harmful? How do they create a nuisance to fisherman and boat owners? What other destructive behaviors do they engage in besides what they did to Skiff?
5. Look at this site on depression. Which of Skiff's father's behaviors match with the symptoms of depression? Should Skiff's father have sought help to overcome his suffering? Why or why not?
6. The title of Philbrick's novel is an homage to an earlier work by Ernest Hemingway. Based on the short clip from The Old Man and the Sea, what similarities or differences can you deduce between Hemingway's story and Philbrick's?
7. The Young Man and the Sea takes place in coastal Maine. Based on these facts, how good of a job did Philbrick do in capturing the spirit of the state? What relevant facts from the webpage showed up in the book? Would you have added anything if you were the author?
December 19, 2005