A Man for All Seasons is the story of Thomas More, Chancellor to King Henry VIII of England. The story, written as a production for the stage, charts More's refusal to support Henry's attempt to divorce his wife, Katherine of Aragon, and the conflicting emotions this produced in his contemporaries. More occasions admiration, frustration, rage, and love in those around him before eventually paying the price for his principled stance.
Nausea is a novel by the French Existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. The novel's protagonist, a historian named Antoine Roquentin, arrives in Brunville to do research. As the novel progresses, Roquentin is overcome by a sense of nausea and anxiety when encountering inanimate objects. Roquentin's disgust towards physical being becomes an inescapable struggle with the relationship between his consciousness and the outside world, nearly driving him to insanity. In the end, Roquentin reaches an epiphany while listening to music, finding a sense of wonder that is the flip-side of his nausea.
Seascape is a play concerning two married couples. The first, impending retirees Nancy and Charlie, are experiencing turmoil in their long-standing relationship. The second, human-sized ocean-dwelling lizards Leslie and Sarah, have just emerged from the sea and are dubious about joining human society. The two couples interact and Nancy and Charlie find stability in their own marriage by helping Leslie and Sarah adjust to the vagaries of life on land.
Six Characters in Search of an Author is a play that deals with representation and theater itself. A theater company rehearsing another Pirandello play is interrupted by six people who claim to be incomplete characters. The characters explain to the director their story, centered around the father's buying sex from his stepdaughter. The characters continually criticize the actors' attempts to represent their story. In the last act of the play, one character commits suicide, one runs away and some remain on stage, leaving the director questioning his reality.
The Old Man and the Sea is the story of Santiago, an unlucky fisherman far past the prime of his life. The story concerns itself chiefly with Santiago's struggle to land an enormous marlin far out in the Gulf of Mexico. Plagued all his life by bad luck, Santiago's apprentice has even been forbidden by his parents from fishing with the old man. At the novel's conclusion Santiago lands the prize marlin and restores some of his reputation and self-worth.
The Seafarer is an elegy, a poem of mourning based around both maritime traditions and Christian theology. The poem recounts a loss at sea, the death of the title character. The poem's last lines are heavily preoccupied with a relinquishment of earthly concerns and a bestowal of faith in God and His eternal kingdom. The poem further recommends the virtues of bravery, intelligence, and commitment to faith. Nautical traditions are also important in its symbolic systems.