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The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

Quiz

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. When the novella opens, how long has it been since Santiago last caught a fish?

2. Manolin’s parents refuse to let the boy fish with the old man because they believe Santiago is salao. How does Hemingway translate this word?

3. How does Hemingway describe Santiago’s eyes?

4. What kind of reception does Santiago receive at the terrace café?

5. Who is Santiago’s hero?

6. What hangs on the wall of the old man’s shack?

7. On the night before he promises Manolin to go “far out” to sea, of what does Santiago dream?

8. Why does Santiago not let his lines drift like the other fishermen?

9. What kind of fish does Santiago first catch?

10. How does the old man know immediately the size of the great marlin he has caught?

11. During his great struggle with the marlin, what does Santiago wish repeatedly?

12. In what year was The Old Man and the Sea published?

13. As his first full day of fighting with the fish wears on, what does Santiago begin to think about his adversary?

14. What does the weary warbler that lands on Santiago’s fishing line make the old man think of?

15. What happens to make Santiago curse the treachery of his own body?

16. In order to help himself catch the fish, what does Santiago do?

17. The great Joe DiMaggio suffers from what affliction?

18. To give himself confidence, Santiago remembers his contest with “the great negro of Cienfuegos.” At what sport did the old man beat this challenger?

19. Why does the thought of selling the fish’s meat disappoint the old man?

20. What does the old man remove and eat from the belly of a dolphin?

21. How does Santiago finally kill the marlin?

22. How long does it take for the sharks to arrive and attack the marlin?

23. After the shark attack, Santiago reflects that destruction is inevitable. How does he articulate this philosophy?

24. What happens upon the old man’s return to his fishing village?

25. The old man remembers that once, when he killed a female marlin, the male marlin

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