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. What is the boy's reaction when the proprietor of the Terrace compliments his catch the day before?
(a) He says to stop talking or it will bring him bad luck.
(b) He says to damn his fish and starts crying again.
(c) He says the proprietor should see what the old man caught.
(d) He says to tell people to go visit the old man.

2. What does Santiago think is unjust but something he must do?
(a) Kill the great fish on the end of his line.
(b) Act strange for the boy.
(c) Eat more raw fish to survive.
(d) Cut the marlin loose and go back saying he had another day of bad luck.

3. What does the shadow of a passing airplane do on the surface of the sea?
(a) Startles Santiago.
(b) Makes the dolphins go away.
(c) Bounces like a basketball.
(d) Scares up a school of flying fish.

4. What does Santiago find in the dolphin's maw when he cuts it open?
(a) A small turtle.
(b) A fish hook.
(c) A piece of the marlin's tail.
(d) Two flying fish.

5. What happens to Santiago as he carries the mast up the hill?
(a) He falls and cannot get up.
(b) He has a heart attack and dies.
(c) He gets tangled up in the sail.
(d) He hears the boy calling his name.

Short Answer Questions

1. Thinking about what the marlin can see deep in the water, how does Santiago recall his own vision years ago?

2. What happens after the old man harpoons the fish?

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

4. What does Santiago think about giving up hope?

5. How do you know Santiago had never been up in a plane?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. Describe the conditions during the first night after Santiago caught the big fish.

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

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

9. Discuss the idea of luck in The Old Man and the Sea.

10. How do you know that Santiago only intended to fish for one day when he left to go far out into the sea?

(see the answer keys)

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