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 marlin does Santiago think about as he considers this fish he has on his line?
(a) The first marlin he ever caught.
(b) The marlin he and the boy caught 86 days ago.
(c) A marlin that once broke his line and got away.
(d) A female marlin that her mate kept jumping up to see where she was.

2. What does Santiago plan to do to change his luck?
(a) He gets the priest to bless his boat.
(b) He buys a new sail for his boat.
(c) He plans to row far out to fish.
(d) He takes his lucky charms with him.

3. What amusing thing does the old man say to the fish as the fish begins to come nearer the skiff?
(a) Fish, why don't you just give up?
(b) Fish, you are going to die. Do you have to kill me, too?
(c) Fish, you will look good hanging from my wall.
(d) Fish, don't you understand that you are beaten already?

4. What makes the flying fish jump out of the water and scatter feverishly?
(a) The man-of-war bird circling overhead.
(b) The rising sun.
(c) Dolphins.
(d) A shark.

5. How did the old man know the marlin had turned eastward?
(a) The skiff began to go slower against the east wind.
(b) The afternoon sun was on his back.
(c) The eastern sea breezes grew stronger.
(d) His compass indicated the direction.

Short Answer Questions

1. What complaint does the boy have about the fisherman he works for after he is forced to leave Santiago?

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

3. What evidence does the old man have of his long, hard fight with the marlin?

4. What amazes Santiago as the boy talks about their first fishing trip?

5. What happens when the shovel-nose shark comes and Santiago stabs it in the brain with his makeshift harpoon?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Santiago give up arm wrestling?

2. Discuss the physical infirmity that begins to plague Santiago on the second day at sea.

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

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

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

6. Describe the relationship between Manolin and Santiago.

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

8. How does Hemingway demonstrate Santiago's expertise as a sailor and fisherman?

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

10. 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.

(see the answer keys)

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