The Old Man and the Sea Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does the old man imagine about the marlin if it had been alive?

2. During the time Santiago had the marlin on his line, what does he think the marlin does not know?

3. After many tries to get the marlin alongside the skiff, what does Santiago reach for?

4. What is Santiago missing that will not allow him to attract a flying fish to land in his skiff?

5. What does Santiago like to read in the newspaper?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Discuss how Hemingway uses the man-of-war bird, the dolphins, and the flying fish to explain the nature of life in the sea.

3. Why can the old man not let go of the line as the big fish tows his skiff farther out to sea?

4. Since the fish is too large to fit into the boat, how does Santiago plan on getting it back to shore?

5. Describe the relationship between Manolin and Santiago.

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

7. It was noon when the old man hooked the fish and four hours later he thinks about something odd. What is it?

8. Describe the last moments that define the valor of the great marlin.

9. How does Santiago show his resolution as he holds the line and thinks about all the things the fish might do?

10. What indicates that Santiago has no idea of catching the largest marlin ever landed in those waters?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about humility versus pride. Use Santiago's relationship with Manolin as support for your ideas.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay explaining you opinion on what happens to the old man after he returns with the marlin bones.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about loyalty. Use Manolin as your example.

(see the answer keys)

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