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 long had their last dry spell lasted before the old man and the boy caught some good fish?
(a) 86 days.
(b) 84 days.
(c) 67 days.
(d) 64 days.

2. What does the marlin do as the sun rises on the third day?
(a) It picks up speed and swims on top of the water.
(b) It jumps every ten minutes.
(c) It tries to chew the line.
(d) It begins circling the boat.

3. Which line below gives an indication of Santiago's respect for nature?
(a) Light brisa, he thought, better weather for me than for you, fish.
(b) He thought of how some men feared being out of sight of land in a small boat.
(c) I wish I could feed the fish, he thought. He is my brother.
(d) God help me to have the cramp go.

4. What does the old man think about to build up his courage as the sun sets on the second day?
(a) He remembers arm wrestling and defeating the Negro from Cienfuegos.
(b) He recalls killing a shark while he was swimming one day.
(c) He remembers surviving after falling overboard.
(d) He thinks about how the boy looks up to him as a great fisherman.

5. How does the old man console himself as he returns home?
(a) There is little damage to his boat.
(b) He will never have to go fishing again.
(c) He promises himself never to go that far out again.
(d) The boy will be there waiting for him.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Santiago believe are in the sea?

2. How does he get something to eat?

3. What marlin does Santiago think about as he considers this fish he has on his line?

4. Why does Santiago wish the marlin would sleep?

5. What happens by midnight as Santiago returns to the land?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the significance of the scattered thoughts of the old man as he struggles to hold onto the fish.

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

3. Why is it important for Santiago to see the fish he has caught?

4. What is Santiago's analysis of having a cramp, especially when one is alone?

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

6. Explain the first indication that Santiago has that he has caught a very large fish, even though he has not seen it and does know know what kind of fish it is.

7. What is the metaphoric significance of the arm wrestling match in Casablanca?

8. Describe the relationship between Manolin and Santiago.

9. As the conflict between man and fish continues, what does Santiago contemplate to gain advantage for himself? Explain.

10. While sleeping in the boat, what are Santiago's dream like?

(see the answer keys)

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