Old Man and the Sea study guide questions
In what ways are the negative qualities of Santiago emphasized?
bad fishing, unlucky, salao, brown blotches, scars, creases on his hands everything about him was old
What significance might Santiago's name have?
Spanish for St. James
How is luck important to Santiago and Manolin?
very important, since Santiago has gone 84 days without catching a fish people think that he is unlucky
What is the relationship between Santiago and Manolin?
Grandfather grandson relationship, also like best friends, treat each other equal, known each other since Manolin was 5 years old
How is Santiago set off from the other fisherman?
the young laugh at him, the older respect and pity him
How can Santiago be proud and humble at the same time?
to proud to take handouts from other people but will let Manolin help him
Describe Manolin's character and discuss why he might behave as he does.
Manolin seems more mature than his age very kind and caring helps take care of Santiago sense of humor sense of loyalty, offers to steal
What in Santiago's character makes him a hero?
intense resolution strange old man perfect eyesight even after going turtling for so many years
How are the nightly precautions Santiago takes with his fishing equipment both realistic and optimistic?
twice he says he doesn't think that anyone will steal his stuff but takes them so not to tempt anyone
What do the details of Santiago's shack reveal about him?
that he is very poor, dirt floors religious pictures
Why do Manolin and Santiago talk about their cast net and fish and rice?
they joke about having them to be humerous
Describe Santiago's and Manolin's differing reactions to the Yankee's defeat.
Santiago thinks that DiMaggio is himself again and Manolin says that they have other men on the team besides DiMaggio
Why won't Santiago borrow money?
first you borrow then you beg
How do Santiago's and Manolin's sleeping habits emphasize the contrast of youth and age?
Manolin sleeps light and Santiago says that age is his alarm clock
Why, do you suppose, does Santiago dream about lions?
when he was a boy he saw them while fishing off the the coast of Africa
What is the boy's reaction to being wakened?
didn't complain and he said that a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do
How does this day's trip differ from Santiago's usual pattern?
he is going to go out farther than he usually does
Why does Santiago call the sea "la mar"?
feminine, he loves and respects the sea other younger fishermen use the masculin name, because they see it as an enemy
What are Santiago's feelings for creatures of the sea (including birds)?
companions, friends, some birds he sees as fishing guides, feels sorry for smaller birds, he hates the Portuguese Man-of-War
Describe ways in which Santiago demonstrates his fishing skill and explain why this is important to a Hemingway hero.
he knows exactly how to row with the currents, he knows how to disguise his hooks, he places each one precisely
What two signs indicate that there are fish nearby?
a circling Man-of-War bird a layer of plankton on the surface
What might Portuguese men-of-war symbolize?
treachery, false, deceitful, deceptive, or conflicts of nature
Why doesn't Santiago worry about talking to himself?
no one is around him to bother, be doesn't have Manolin witn him, he doesn't have a radio with him
How does Santiago know he has hooked a marlin?
it takes the bait at the depth of where a marlin lurks
Describe the steps Santiago must take in order to make sure the fish is caught.
don't disturb the fish, then when the fish takes the bait places the reinforced line then when he knows the fish has the bait he hooks it
How does he know he has caught a fish of extraordinary size?
the marlin pulls Santiago in his skiff against the current for hours
How does Santiago feel about the marlin?
he pities the fish but is amazed by the power and the strength of the fish
How does the story of Manolin and the two other marlin show that the boy is a suitable partner for Santiago?
he caught the female and the male stayed by the boat, they both feel sad and have respect for the fish in the sea
Why does Santiago wish the boy were there?
so Manolin could see how large the fish is and so the boy can help him
Why does the fish lurch?
the fishing wire might have moved over the lump of his back
How does Santiago's comment about the fish's pain help portray his own physical condition?
when he thinks about the fish's back in pain it causes him to feel pain in his back
What does the fish's course tell about its strength?
that it has been pulling Santiago and the skiff for hours against the current
Why does Santiago want the fish to jump?
wants the marlin to jump in the air so his air sacs will fill up with air so it can't go back down as deep, also so he can see its beauty
Explain how the old man can love the fish yet wish to kill it.
fishermen respect their prey
In what ways are the fisherman and the fish alike?
both old and strange, calls the fish his brother
Describe Santiago's right and left hands.
the right hand has a cut and the left has a cramp
How might Santiago's hands be seen as part of the books religious imagery?
just as Christ was injured in both of his hands so is Santiago
What qualities of the fish are stressed by the description of his jump?
purple and lavender; associated with royalty, strength, and size
Why does santiago say that the fish is more noble than he?
the fish's struggle is greater than his own
In what ways does santiago seem an ulikely Christ-symbol?
he says his prayers mechanically says with no senserity
How are santiago's thoughts as he prays the thoughts of a code hero?
He says i do and love you
In what direction does the fish turn? What does the turn tell santiago?
that the fish is coming closer to the surface and closer to the skiff
What things does Santiago's think of while the fish pulls? What do these thoughts have in common?
lions baseball arm wrestling, strength youth
What 2 things does Santiago do to preserve his strength?
What might Santiago's dreams show about his persent situation?
north breeze, cold arm, asleep, lions
How does Santiago know that the fish is about to circle?
because he has fished for this kind of fish all of his life and he know what the next stage will be
Why does Santiago rebuke his left hand?
he is mad because it is still cramed up in the shap of a claw
How does Hemingway stress the endurance of Santiago?
seeing black spots but twice he felt faint and dizzy
Why does Santiago want the marlin to stop jumping?
doesnt want the line to break
How is the fish's size described? Does the description make it easier or harder to visualize the fish?
huge bulk easier
At what time does the fish die? Do you suppose hemingway chose this time for a special reason?
noon, yes it gives it unity