A CLASSIC novel was slapped with a woke warning about its “graphic” fishing scenes.
Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea chronicles an aging fisherman’s struggle to land a marlin and his battle with sharks determined to eat him.
Television and film adaptations of the 1952 Pulitzer Prize winner have received U and PG certificates.
But the University of the Highlands and Islands based in Inverness, Scotland – an area renowned for fishing – has issued a “content warning”.
Students can skip the book if they think it will bother them.
Mary Dearborn, author of Ernest Hemingway, A Biography, said: “This is total nonsense. It takes my breath away.
“The world is a violent place and it’s counterproductive to pretend otherwise. Much of the violence in history is rooted in the natural world. It’s the law of nature.”
Professor Jeremy Black, from the University of Exeter, added: “Many great works have included references to fishing, whaling or hunting. Is the university seriously suggesting that all of this literature is shrouded in caveats? »
The university also reported Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, as well as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.
He said: “The content warnings are there to allow students to make informed choices.
“Our students engage extensively in classical works at all degree levels.”