Old Man and the Sea ?'s
Terms in this set (44)
Who is Santiago?
Santiago is the main character in the novel. He is an old man, gaunt and weather-worn with
the many scars of an old fisherman.
Who is Manolin?
Manolin is Santiago's friend, a boy who fished with Santiago before his streak of bad luck
Martin is the owner of a pub-type restaurant. He sent food with Manolin to Santiago.
Why is the boy not fishing with the old man anymore? Does he want to?
Santiago is having a streak of very bad luck; he is not catching any fish. Manolin's parents
won't let him fish with Santiago anymore even though he wants to.
What did the other fishermen think of the old man?
Many fishermen made fun of the old man. Some of the older fishermen looked at him and
were sad. No one would steal from him.
Describe Santiago's house.
Santiago's house was small, had only the necessities for one old man's everyday life: a bed, a
chair, a table, a place to cook on the dirt floor, some religious pictures, a picture of his
deceased wife, and a clean shirt. The house was neat and clean.
What's the point behind the conversation about yellow rice with fish and the cast net?
There was no yellow rice or cast net; this is a standing joke -- perhaps a wish -- between the
Why is there so much talk about baseball, specifically DiMaggio?
Santiago's hero, Joe DiMaggio, was successful playing baseball even though the odds were
against him. By identifying with DiMaggio, Santiago sees that success is sometimes possible
(no matter what the odds) if you want it enough.
"There are many good fishermen and some great ones. But there is only you." What does the boy mean?
Manolin means that the old man is special. One could also take it to mean that no matter what talents anyone else has, you have to use what you are given to accomplish the tasks in your
What is Hemingway's point to having the old man say, "I may not be as strong as I think . . . .
But I know many tricks and I have resolution"?
Pure strength isn't the only important thing for a good fisherman to have. If one is smart and
persistent, he can accomplish a great deal without tremendous strength.
What did the old man dream about?
He dreamed of things he remembered from his youth in Africa and the lions on the beaches
How did Santiago think of the sea? (To what does he compare it?)
Santiago compares the sea to a woman, as one that "gave or withheld great favours, and if
she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them.
"It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes, you are ready."
The old man prepared his fishing gear very carefully and did all he could to increase his
chances of getting some fish. He made himself ready to take advantage of any lucky strike he
might find, so he wouldn't have equipment failure or be lacking something he needed when
he found fish
What fish did the old man catch first?
The old man caught a tuna first.
If the other heard me talking out loud, they would think that I am crazy . . . But since I am
not crazy, I do not care." What does that tell us about the old man's character?
He knows himself and has self-confidence enough to not really care about what other people
What happened when the old man first tried to pull in the bill fish?
The old man could not raise him an inch. The big fish towed the old man's boat.
What does the old man think of porpoises and flying fish, and the pair of marlin he had
Santiago thought of porpoises, flying fish and marlin as his brothers in the natural world.
Santiago often wishes the boy were there. Why?
He liked the boy's company and really could use some help.
"His choice had been to stay in the deep dark water far out beyond all snares and traps
. . . My choice was to go there to find him beyond all people . . . in the world." Explain the
importance of this passage.
Santiago has broken some unspoken law of nature by fishing beyond the normal fishing
boundaries. The magnificent fish stayed within its natural, allotted environment. The old
man trespassed and paid a high price for his "sin" against nature.
Why did Santiago want the fish to turn and swim with the current?
The fish would swim with the current when it got tired. That would mean Santiago's battle
would almost be over.
Explain the significance of "Take a good rest, small bird . . . Then go in and take your
chances like any man or bird or fish."
Santiago could offer the bird a safe resting place for a little while, but, in the end, the bird
would have to fly on and take its chances for good luck or bad luck, life or death, just like all
creatures do in nature.
What happened when the fish lurched?
The fish pulled Santiago over in the boat. He fell on his face and got a cut below his eye. The
second lurch caused a cut in Santiago's right hand.
What was Santiago's problem with the left hand?
The left hand kept cramping.
How big was the fish?
The fish was two feet longer than the skiff.
"But, thank God, they are not as intelligent as we who kill them, although they are more noble
and more able." What's Hemingway saying?
If the fish had man's intelligence with its own nobility and ability, Santiago thinks men
wouldn't be able to catch fish.
"He settled comfortably against the wood and took his suffering as it came . . . " is one of the
many religious references in the novel. To whom is Santiago compared in this one?
The comparison could be to Christ's suffering while carrying the wooden cross.
Santiago feels he must "prove himself" to the fish and to the boy. "Now he was proving it
again. Each time was a new time . . . . " What is the implication in broader terms; do we
EVER stop having to prove ourselves (according to Hemingway)?
If our past actions don't count for anything, and each new situation requires our best
performance, then we must never stop proving ourselves.
Who was El Campeon? How did he get that name?
El Campeon was Santiago, a champion arm wrestler in his youth. He beat a great athlete in an
arm wrestling match. The point is that he broke the athlete's confidence; he was able to meet
the other man's strength, and in a battle of perseverance, Santiago won.
What second fish did the old man catch, and what will he do with it?
He caught a dolphin and saved it to eat later.
Santiago tries to justify killing the big fish by thinking of how many people he will feed.
What does the old man conclude?
No one is worthy to eat the noble fish.
Santiago sleeps again. What does he dream of now?
He dreams of porpoises, that his right arm is asleep, and about the lions on the beach.
What woke him up?
His hand hit him in the face as the big fish took the line and jumped.
When did the fish start to circle?
The fish started to circle on the third morning of the fishing trip
How did the old man kill the big fish?
The old man pulled the fish close, got him turned on his side, held the line with his foot, and
harpooned the big fish.
How did Santiago intend to take the fish back to port since the fish was bigger than the boat?
Santiago tied the fish to the side of the skiff.
Santiago asks himself," . . . is he bringing me in or am I bringing him in?" What does he
He decides they are bringing each other in. They are equals, side by side. Santiago is only
better through "trickery," and the fish meant no harm.
What problem did the old man have getting the fish home?
Sharks kept attacking the bloody carcass of the dead, big fish
What are the old man's arguments with himself about whether or not killing the big fish is a
sin? (What arguments does he make for and against it being a sin?)
Santiago thinks it is not a sin to kill the fish because killing the fish will keep himself alive
and feed many people. He thinks he was born to be a fisherman and the fish was born to be a
fish. Then, he thinks it is a sin because he killed the fish out of pride more than necessity and
because he loved the fish. Then, he rationalizes that "everything kills everything else in some
The old man apologizes to the big fish. ("I am sorry that I went too far out. I ruined us both.")
The old man sees the once noble fish now mutilated, lifeless, and defenseless against the
shark attacks, and Santiago feels truly sorry about that. One could conclude that by going "
too far out," beyond the boundaries previously set by other fishermen, Santiago has tampered
with nature. In doing so, he has not only destroyed the magnificent fish, he also has lost a
great deal himself.
6. What of the big fish is left by the time Santiago reaches home?
Only the carcass is left: the tail, the backbone, the head and bill.
With the mast on his shoulder, Santiago had to stop and rest five times on his way home.
What is the symbolic reference?
Again, there is a reference to Christ's carrying the cross.
Pedrico looked after the old man's skiff and gear and received the head of the big fish from
the old man
Why does Manolin cry?
Manolin cries for the old man's suffering and defeat.
What is the conclusion of the story?
A woman and her husband see the carcass of the magnificent fish and incorrectly identify it
as a common shark of extraordinary size. This emphasizes the fall of the noble creature and
the apparent insignificance of Santiago's great sin and battle in the everyday lives of other
people. At the end of the story, Santiago himself is sleeping, dreaming once again of the lions
on the beaches of Africa.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Phonics Practice For Reading And Learning English
Old Man and the Sea Questions's
Old Man and the Sea 7
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
Anne Frank Vocab+Character Match-Up
Chapter 12 Science Study Guide
Language Convention Benchmark 2
2nd Trimester- ELA Benchmark
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Old Man and the Sea
a doll's house
Things Fall Apart Test Study Guide