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 word does Santiago utter that Hemingway says there is no translation for?

2. In great pain from the cold, what does the old man hope for?

3. When does the old man hoist his sail?

4. What is the boy's reaction when the proprietor of the Terrace compliments his catch the day before?

5. Why does the old man scoop water from the sea after the marlin stops jumping?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. When the big fish first takes the bait, the old man thought about what he was sure the fish would do but he did not say it out loud. Why?

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

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

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

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

7. Why did Santiago give up arm wrestling?

8. How does the man-of-war bird help Santiago catch an albacore?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write your opinion about Hemingway's style of writing. Use examples from the book.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about fishing as a hobby versus fishing for a living.

Essay Topic 3

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

(see the answer keys)

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