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. Why does Santiago feel sorry for the terns?
(a) He thinks they will get lost over the sea.
(b) He thinks they are incredibly ugly.
(c) He thinks they are too delicate for the sea.
(d) He thinks they are not fast enough and the fish will eat them.

2. To what does Santiago compare his damaged hands while harpooning the shark?
(a) Hitting a home run.
(b) The teeth of the shark.
(c) Joe DiMaggio's bone spur.
(d) The pain of a sting ray's attack.

3. What does the old man think he killed the fish for besides food and to keep himself alive?
(a) Throwing a big party for his friends.
(b) The lust for killing.
(c) Pride of being a fisherman.
(d) Revenge for all the fish he had lost.

4. Who does Santiago think would be proud of him after he gets the fish lashed to the boat?
(a) The other fishermen in the village.
(b) The boy.
(c) God.
(d) The great DiMaggio.

5. After many tries to get the marlin alongside the skiff, what does Santiago reach for?
(a) His large casting net.
(b) His water bottle.
(c) His harpoon.
(d) Another bite of flying fish.

Short Answer Questions

1. During the time Santiago had the marlin on his line, what does he think the marlin does not know?

2. What is Santiago missing that will not allow him to attract a flying fish to land in his skiff?

3. What happens to Santiago as he carries the mast up the hill?

4. What are Santiago's last three weapons he can use against the sharks?

5. What promise does the old man make if he brings in the fish?

Short Essay Questions

1. On the second night, describe the old man's recollection that shows how strong he was years ago.

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

3. What is the literary purpose of references to Joe DiMaggio in the story?

4. Aside from the times that Santiago actually says, "I'm lonely", how does Hemingway emphasize that situation?

5. How does the old man utilize the power of positive thinking as he struggles with the huge marlin during the night?

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

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

8. Why did Santiago decide he could sleep a while on the second night?

9. What is the bond between Santiago and the boy?

10. Why can the old man not let go of the line as the big fish tows his skiff farther out to sea?

(see the answer keys)

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