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 do the other fishermen think of the sea in the masculine, el mar?
(a) They take shark livers from the sea.
(b) They see it as a dangerous enemy.
(c) They like to think of themselves being as strong as the sea.
(d) They see it as a generous man.

2. As he heads home and stops to look back, what does Santiago see?
(a) Nothing, because there is no light.
(b) The skeleton of the great fish lashed to the skiff.
(c) Gulls swarming around his boat.
(d) Small sharks trying to get the last of the meat off the marlin.

3. What is the meaning of salao?
(a) A small room.
(b) A greeting.
(c) The champion.
(d) Extreme bad luck.

4. What simile does Hemingway use to show the boy's admiration for Santiago?
(a) He compares Santiago to a giant shark.
(b) He says that Santiago is like Joe DiMaggio.
(c) He calls Sanitiago his hero.
(d) He likens Santiago's fishing greatness to the greatest baseball managers.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Santiago think about giving up hope?

2. How does the old man get hurt when the fish yanks on the line?

3. Why is the old man pleased that the marlin had jumped a dozen times?

4. How does the old man console himself as he returns home?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the conflict of resolution between the old man and the fish.

2. 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.

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

4. When there is another bite on one of his other lines, Santiago cuts it loose. Why?

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

6. Why is the story about an old man instead of a young one?

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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