The Call of the Wild —— An Eco-critical Reading of The Old Man and the Sea

Yan YU


Under the circumstances of the severe ecological crisis, ecocriticism has become a hot topic. In recent years, the natural world in Hemingway’s works has come into the view of the ecocritics. This paper is, according to the theory of ecocriticism, to interpret Hemingway’s masterpiece The Old Man and the Sea from the perspective of anti-ecology, which is often neglected by traditional literary critics. Through thorough analysis of the text, the author claims that the novella has presented the protagonist, Santiago’s anti-ecological-consciousness. At the same time, it further reflects the ambivalent attitude of Hemingway himself towards nature: reverence for nature and desire to conquer nature.
Key words: Anti-ecological-consciousness; Ecocriticism; Ernest Hemingway

Résumé: Dans les circonstances d'une grave crise écologique, l'écocriticisme est devenu un sujet brûlant. Ces dernières années, le monde naturel dans les oeuvres d'Hemingway est entré dans la vue de l'écocritiques. Cet article est, selon la théorie de l'écocriticisme, d'interpréter le chef d'oeuvre de Hemingway "Le Vieil Homme et la mer" du point de vue anti-écologique, qui est souvent négligée par les critiques littéraires traditionnels. Grace à une analyse approfondie du texte, l'auteur affirme que le roman a présenté la consicence anti-écologique du protagoniste, Santiago. En même temps, il reflète en outre l'attitude ambivalente de Hemingway lui-même envers la nature: le respect de la nature et le désir de conquérir la nature.
Mots-clés: Conscience anti écologique; Écocritisme; Ernest Hemingway


Anti-ecological-consciousness; Ecocriticism; Ernest Hemingway;Conscience anti écologique; Écocritisme; Ernest Hemingway

Full Text:



Davis, Robert Gorham. (1952). The Story of a Tragic Fisherman. New York Times Book Review, 13.

DONG Hengxun. (1985). Hemmingway Talks about Writing. Beijing: Sanlian Book Store. (In Chinese)

FAN Qun. (2008). The Harmony between Man and Nature——Regarding Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea from the Perspective of Ecocriticism (Master’s thesis). China University of Geosciences. (In Chinese)

FENG Fen. (2005). Widen the Vision of Green Critics. Journal of Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University, 1, 46-86. (In Chinese)

Glotfelty, Cheryll., and Fromm, Harold. (1996). The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.

Hemmingway, Ernest. (2007). The Old Man and the Sea. Beijing: China Literature Press.

Hemmingway, Ernest. (2004). The Old Man and the Sea (Trans. Wu Lao). Shanghai: Shanghai Translation Publishing House. (In Chinese)

Jackson, Joseph Henry. (1952, September). Hemingway at His Best in a Story of a Fisherman and His Catch. San Francisco Chronicle.

LIU Rongqiang. (1999). Comments on the Nineties’ Study of Hemingway. Foreign Literatures 3, 28-33. (In Chinese)

LIU Yihong. (2006). Hemingway’s Ambivalent Attitudes towards Nature: Taking the Plot of Fish Hunting in His Works as an Example. Journal of Daqing Normal Universality, 26(4), 08-38. (In Chinese)

LEI Yi. (2001). Study of Deep Ecology (pp. 43-52). Beijing: Qinghua University Press. (In Chinese)

LU Shuyuan. (2002). The Knowledge Space of Ecocriticism. Literature & Art Studies, 5, 146-147. (In Chinese)

Naess, Arne. (1989). Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle (Trans. David Rothenberg). New York: Cambridge UP.

Schwartz, Delmore. (1952). Long after Eden. Partisan Review, 6.

Valenti, Patricia Dunlavy. (2007). Understanding The Old Man and the Sea: A Student Casebook to Issue, Source, and Historical Documents. Beijing: China Renmin University. (In Chinese)

Weeks, Edward. (1952). Hemingway at His Best. Atlantic Review, 9.

WANG Nuo. (2003). Ecological Literature of Europe and America. Beijing: Peking University Press. (In Chinese)

WANG Nuo. (2002). The Development and Sources of Ecocriticism. Literature & Art Studies, 3, 48-55. (In Chinese)

WANG Yanfeng. (2008). Hemingway’s Ecological Consciousness Reflected in The Old Man and the Sea. Journal of Philology, 10, 5-7. (In Chinese)

XIN Ruijuan. (2008). The Classic Text of Iceberg Theory——Study on Symbolic Art of The Old Man and the Sea. Journal of Baicheng Normal College , 22(1), 109-112. (In Chinese)

XUE Lei. (2008). Hemingway’s Dualistic Concept of Nature——An Ecocritical Analysis of Hemingway’s Works (Master’s thesis). Shangdong University. (In Chinese)

YANG Tongjin. (2000). The Basic Concept of Environmental Ethics. Ethics and Civilization, 1, 6-10. (In Chinese)

Young, Phillip. (1952). Ernest Hemingway. New York: Rinehart & Co.

YU Jing, and Wang Taohua. (2007). Ecological Consciousness Reflected in The Old Man and the Sea. Journal of Society and Science of Hunan Normal University, 2, 116-120. (In Chinese)

ZHU Man. (2000). Dialogue between Life and Nature——Interpreting Hemmingway’s Concept of Human and Nature. Journal of Liaoning University (Social & Science), 28(3), 91-92. (In Chinese)

ZHU Xinfu. (2003). An Inquiry into American Literature from an Ecocritical Perspective. Contemporary Foreign Literature, 1, 135-140. (In Chinese)



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Canadian Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada.

Website: Http:// Http://,

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture