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. When does Santiago realize the depth of his tiredness?
(a) As he ties the boat to a rock.
(b) As he furls the sail.
(c) As he walks up the hill to his shack.
(d) As he hauls the marlin's bones out of the water.

2. What does the old man conclude defeated him?
(a) His cramped left hand.
(b) Not having the boy with him.
(c) The broken knife blade.
(d) Nothing. He only went too far out.

3. What amazes Santiago as the boy talks about their first fishing trip?
(a) That the boy remembers everything so vividly.
(b) That the boy has forgotten how big the fish was.
(c) That the boy cannot remember one thing about the trip.
(d) That so many years have passed since that time.

4. How many times does the old man have to stop and sit down on his way to his shack?
(a) 2 times.
(b) 6 times.
(c) 3 times.
(d) 5 times.

5. What does the fisherman say about the marlin to the boy?
(a) I need a tape to measure this fish.
(b) There is nothing left but head, tail, and bones.
(c) Why would the old man bring back only bones?
(d) He was eighteen feet from nose to tail.

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. After the second brown shark is killed, what does it do?

3. Why doesn't Santiago put the marlin into his boat?

4. How long does Santiago think he will be out to sea the morning he leaves to go far out?

5. Santiago is far out at sea and the fish is from deep waters. What comparison does Santiago make?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the danger the Portuguese man-of-war man of war poses to a fisherman in a boat.

2. Why did Santiago decide he could sleep a while on the second night?

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

4. What is the bond between Santiago and the boy?

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

6. How does the conflict intensify on the second night?

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

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

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

10. By nightfall, Santiago recognizes a change in direction. Explain how he knows that.

(see the answer keys)

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