Old Man and the Sea study guide questions

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Old Man and the Sea
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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?

eat sleep


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