The Old Man and the Sea Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does the old man know the winds will blow all night?
(a) From the clouds.
(b) From the curve of his sail.
(c) From the currents.
(d) From the seagulls.

2. What does the old man imagine about the marlin if it had been alive?
(a) He thinks the marlin would get away because it can jump so high.
(b) He thinks the marlin could outswim the sharks.
(c) He imagines it fighting the sharks with the spear on its head.
(d) He imagines the marlin would eat the harks.

3. What does Santiago suddenly realize he has been doing?
(a) Thinking about the boy.
(b) Talking out loud to himself.
(c) Going too fast for his lines.
(d) Falling asleep.

4. His back is already hurting him, and then what begins to give him pain?
(a) He cuts himself with a knife.
(b) His neck hurts from continually looking down at the water.
(c) His hand cramps.
(d) The sunlight gives him a headache.

5. How does Hemingway use Joe DiMaggio's injury to show Santiago's limited education?
(a) He pretends to know what a bone spur is.
(b) He thinks DiMaggio has chicken feet.
(c) He has no idea what a bone spur is.
(d) He thinks DiMaggio can poke out a catcher's eye.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the old man fear since the shark had taken about forty pounds of flesh off the marlin?

2. When does Santiago realize the depth of his tiredness?

3. What does the old man say he has to eat in his shack?

4. Why does the old man's boat move faster as he nears the land?

5. How does the old man think he could have made better preparation for eating the raw fish?

Short Essay Questions

1. Santiago recalls that he used to sing on the turtle boats, whereas now he talks out loud to himself. When does he think the talking began?

2. Show how Hemingway uses the literary form of personification as Santiago thinks about the great fish he has hooked.

3. Discuss how Hemingway uses the man-of-war bird, the dolphins, and the flying fish to explain the nature of life in the sea.

4. After the marlin jumps during the night, there is a lull. What does it allow Santiago to do?

5. How does Santiago compare himself to the great sea turtles that are as big as a skiff and weigh a ton?

6. How does the man-of-war bird help Santiago catch an albacore?

7. Since the fish is too large to fit into the boat, how does Santiago plan on getting it back to shore?

8. Identify a few passages in the story that indicate the pride of Santiago.

9. Describe the last moments that define the valor of the great marlin.

10. Give an example of how Santiago refuses to give up after losing the harpoon.

(see the answer keys)

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