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 Santiago estimate the size of the marlin?
(a) Two feet longer than the skiff.
(b) Longer than a small tree is tall.
(c) Twice as long as he is tall.
(d) Twice as long as the last marlin he caught.

2. What does Hemingway mean when he says that the old man harpooned the shark with resolution and complete malignancy?
(a) The old man was dying of skin cancer.
(b) The old man was motivated by hate.
(c) The old man was unsure of what to do.
(d) The old man was acting out of instinct.

3. What does Santiago believe are in the sea?
(a) Friends and enemies.
(b) Mermaids and shells.
(c) Sharks and seaweed.
(d) Fish bigger than the marlin he caught.

4. What is the first thing Santiago asks the boy to bring him when he finally wakes up?
(a) A bowl of yellow rice and fish.
(b) The newspapers for the days he was gone.
(c) The head of the marlin.
(d) Another cup of coffee with milk and sugar.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What commonality does Santiago observe in deep water fish when they pick up speed?

2. Who does the boy fear will defeat the Yankees?

3. As the sun sets, what advantage does Santiago tell himself he has over the marlin?

4. Why does the old man wish to take Joe DiMaggio fishing?

5. Santiago hates these sharks because they were something more than killers like the Mako shark. What is that?

Short Essay Questions

1. Santiago does not consider himself to be religious, but what happens to show that he was at one time before?

2. How does Santiago show his resolution as he holds the line and thinks about all the things the fish might do?

3. What significance does Santiago place on the sudden pull the fish makes on the line after swimming steadily all night long?

4. What new indication tells Santiago and the reader that this is a truly remarkable fish after the moonlight jump?

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

6. Describe the scene that shows the good nature and high character of Santiago.

7. Toward the end of the second day, Santiago assesses his situation and thinks he has several new advantages. What are they?

8. Explain the meaning of the statement that Santiago loved the lions in his dreams like he loved the boy.

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

10. How does Santiago think about the night time conflict between himself and the great fish?

(see the answer keys)

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