Procedures:                                                                                                                Print Questions: .docx / .doc


1) Read the novel excerpts and the related texts together in groups or as a class

2) Clarify meaning in groups or as a class. Student/Teacher reads. Student summarizes

3) In pairs or in groups, discuss the textual content and quotations

4) In pairs or in groups, discuss the conversation questions (include your own questions)

5) As a class, take turns using the conversation questions to expand your ideas

Novels 109 ~ The Old Man and the Sea ~ Ernest Hemingway ~

Courtesy of  Sparknotes


He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk and he loved them as he loved the boy.

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Just then the stern line came taut under his foot, where he had kept the loop of the line, and he dropped his oars and felt the weight of the small tuna¡¯s shivering pull as he held the line firm and commenced to haul it in. The shivering increased as he pulled in and he could see the blue back of the fish in the water and the gold of his sides before he swung him over the side and into the boat. 

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. . . . Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. . . . There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers.

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Then the fish came alive, with his death in him, and rose high out of the water showing all his great length and width and all his power and his beauty. He seemed to hang in the air above the old man in the skiff. Then he fell into the water with a crash that sent spray over the old man and over all of the skiff.

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?

-Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea


Click here for Author¡¯s Biography, Plot Overview, and Explanation of Quotes courtesy of Sparknotes


~ General Conversation Questions ~


Group A


1) The main character in this story is a fisherman. But, do you know any people who like fishing? Tell.

2) There is a young boy. What is his role in the novel? Why does the writer include him? Explain.

3) This story takes place in a poor fishing village. What is Hemingway¡¯s relationship to such a place?

4) The fish and the man battle and the end is exhaustion and death. What¡¯s the authors message?

5) It is said that Hemingway is the fisherman in this novel. Do you agree? Explain.


Group B


1) Pride is a quality considered noble by some and egotistic by others. How do you judge the old man?

2) A wave of sharks begin to take the marlin. Why does the old man continue to fight?

3) Santiago dreams of lions on a beach. Do most people have such dreams? Do you have such a dream?

4) Ironically, marlins (blue fin tuna) and sharks are both endangered due to overfishing. Discuss.

5) What is the role of ¡°machismo¡± or ¡°male pride¡± in your culture. Is it necessary? Explain.


Challenge: Make your own follow-up questions and discuss them.




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