The Old Man and the Sea Test | Final 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. During the time Santiago had the marlin on his line, what does he think the marlin does not know?

2. What is a favorite topic of conversation for Santiago and the boy?

3. What does the old man think about to build up his courage as the sun sets on the second day?

4. Why does the boy not go out with the fishing boats the morning of Santiago's return?

5. What brings the shark towards Santiago's boat?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What significance does Santiago place on the sudden pull the fish makes on the line after swimming steadily all night long?

6. After the marlin jumps during the night, there is a lull. What does it allow Santiago to do?

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

8. Why was it simple for Santiago to defeat the Negro of Cienfuegas when they had a rematch in the spring?

9. There is something almost religious about Santiago's walk to his shack after landing with the bones of the marlin. Describe it.

10. Santiago recalls that he used to sing on the turtle boats, whereas now he talks out loud to himself. When does he think the talking began?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay about how people turn to religion when times are difficult.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about why you think Hemingway did or did not know about deep sea fishing.

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the theme of courage in the human spirit.

(see the answer keys)

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