BA English Important Topics of The Old man and the sea

Here are important Novel Topics from the Old man and the sea Novel by Earnest Hemingway. These important questions answer from the novel for B.A part 2, or Associate degree in Arts (ADA) by Punjab University. The English syllabus of B.A part 2 or ADA part two includes a novel by Ernest Hemingway and the students have to give details answers to the questions being asked in exams.

Ba English Notes old man and the sea important questions

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The old man and the sea Important Topics

I have previously written some separate topics on this novel but then I thought of writing a single post covering the whole novel important topics. I have written the questions answers that are important in this single post. You can learn only these questions and your paper will be good.

The old man and the sea questions answers for BA

Here are the important questions answers for BA English from the novel the old man and the sea.

1. Summary of the Novel

This summary fits in with any answer. But you have to prepare a separate answer for any questions so that your answer becomes relevant and apt. See the summary of the novel.

Q.1. Santiago as an experienced fisherman

Q.2. Old man's struggle against the sharks

Q.3. Old man's struggle against the Marlin

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Q.4. Man is not made for defeat. Comment.

Q.5. The loneliness and talk to himself of the old man

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Q.6. Dreams of the old man


He had hardly fallen asleep when he began to dream of Africa. He had wide to the Dark Continent when he was a boy. He dreamt about the long, golden beaches and wide white beaches that he had seen in his boyhood days. He dreamed of the white beaches which were so white that they hurt his eyes. He dreamt of high capes and great brown mountains. In his dreams, he lived along that coast every night. In his dreams, he heard the seawater roar and saw the native boats come riding through it. His dreams were mostly about Africa, the lions, the beaches, the natives and the mountains of Africa. He did not dream of storms. 

He never dreamt about women, and of great places. He always dreamt about-lions on the beach. They played like young cats in the dusk. He loved them as he loved the boy Manolin. But he never dreamed about the boy. His dreams were mostly about distant lands. The land that he had been to as a boy was Africa. He was a fisherman, but he did not dream about the fish. He was interested in baseball but seldom dreamt about. He often dreamt about lions. The thoughts of the lion remind him of the vigor and energy of the youthful days. T

he Old Man dreams not of a single lion, the king of the beast. He dreams of the several young lions that came Gown to the beach in the evening to play together. The lions are the main thing that is left, and they suggest the solidarity, love, and peace to which the Old Man returns after winning and losing his great fish. The thoughts of the lion also provide him is an additional stimulus during his ordeal of catching the fish.

Q.7 Discuss Santiago as a code hero of the novel.


A code hero is a person who follows a system or code of life in his role as a hero. He displays the qualities of courage dignity honor, dedication, and endurance. Such heroes fight against corruption and disorder in life. They spend their life according to some system or order. They fight against the awkwardness of the world and try to put an order in it.

Santiago is Hemingway's code hero. He illustrates the values of life that Hemingway cherished and glorified all his life. Santiago may become old and weak. He has bad luck, but he continues to show courage till the end of his fight with evil forces. Life offers many opportunities for success and defeat. It is an odd mixture of pleasure and pain. In human life, there are many forms of both marlin and sharks. Much is to be endured but a little is to be enjoyed. To live life in itself is a success and a rewarding experience.

Santiago is a humble fisherman. He is the best fisherman. The boy Manolin has great confidence in his skill and craftsmanship. He is devoted to his work and follows the rules of discipline. He shows his heroic qualities in everything. He has not performed anything extraordinary related to war, love death. He relies on his own resources. He is alone and goes into the sea to a place that is far away from safe fishing. His fight with the fish marlin and against the sharks reveals his strength and his will to overcome the odds of life. He does not lose heart at his defeat He remains heroic and courageous till the last moment of his life.

Q.8 A character sketch of Manolin.


Manolin is the devoted pupil of Santiago. He has learnt the art of fishing from Santiago. He has been with him since the age of fie. Manolin comes every morning to Santiago but is pained to see him without fish. He pities the Old Man for his luck. He considers the Old Man a complete and experienced fisherman. He has complete faith in the experience and skill of the Old Man. When at the end of the novel, the Old Man tells the boy "They beat me, Manolin.... They truly beat me." The boy does not believe that. He replies with complete confidence. He did not beat you. No the fish” and Santiago has to correct himself “No, truly afterwards.” 

The boy tells Santiago that he has to learn a lot from him. "I can learn and you can teach me everything." Manolin loves the old man sincerely and selflessly. It is not only a disciple - teacher relationship but a son-father relationship. He is very helpful to the Old Man. He brings sardines for the Old Man so that he may make baits for the fish. He helps him in carrying his lines, gaff and harpoon. He provides the Old Man food, medicine and clothes.

The boy is greatly moved at the exhausted condition of the Old Man. He declares "Now we fish together again". He is greatly worried at his weakness and fatigue. He finds his hands badly bruised. He begins to cry. He goes to the restaurant to bring good and coffee for the Old Man. He tells the fishermen that the Old Man was sleeping and they should not disturb him. The Old Man is also in love with him. He thinks of the boy a number of times during his fish expedition. The boy is the symbol of Santiago's youthful strength. The constantly reminds Santiago of his youth, courage and bravely The Old Man datives much consolation from the thoughts of the old boy.

Q.9 A character sktich the Sea. / Discuss the sea as a living reality. The symbolic significance of the sea.


The sea plays an important part in shaping the destiny and character of different characters of the novel. It influences of different characters of the novel. It influences Santiago, the boy, the Marlin and the sharks in its various moods and styles. Its dominant role is that of a kind being. However, it does not treat the Old Man kindly. On the contrary, it puts up various hardships on his way. It makes his life difficult During storms, the Old Man curses it. But on the whole, the sea supplies livelihood to Santiago and other fishermen. 

A large number of fishermen living in Havana, depend on the sea for their livelihood. Even the young boy, Manolin who is quite inexperienced catches three big fish in the first week with another fisherman. Santiago too lives on the fish he hunts and kills. When he catches the Marlin, he at once says that "it will supply food to him and to many other people". The Old Man considers the sea as a humane and kind being. He loves the sea because she houses his friends and enemies. His friends are the fish that he catches and eats. 

The Old Man loves the turtles and the tortoises that live in the sea. He considers it to be his home. The Old Man thinks that man is never alone at the sea because small birds and big birds are always flying over her surface. Everything in the sea except the sharks is the friend of the Old Man. The sea has her moods like a woman. Sometimes she bestows favours on her lovers. At other times her attitude is scornful and cruel. We can say that the sea is a living character of the novel, which influences the lives of many people.

Q.10. Discuss the old man and the sea as a tragedy.


The Old Man And The Sea is a tragedy. The Old Man stands undefeated in his fight with the sharks and the fish. He is physically exhausted and weak. He has suffered a lot during the course of his adventure. His sorrows and sufferings are endless. These sorrows make him a tragic character and he wins our sympathy. 

At the end of the novel, when we take into account the heroic adventure and sorrows and pains of the Old Man, we pity his tragic figure. The tragedy is defined as a tale of sorrows and sufferings in which the hero shows the highest qualities of patience. courage and sacrifice. But he also suffers from some handicaps which becomes a cause of his downfall. 

The Old Man and the sea fulfill most of the criterion of a tragedy. Santiago is heroic in his character as well as in his achievement. He is noble, brave, patient and romantic. They boy Manolin calls him the best fisherman. Santiago calls himself 'a strange Old Man' with strength and resolution to catch a big fish. He is a true hero due to his courage and boldness. He exposes himself to the risks of defeat and death. He rows beyond the 'ordinary fish areas and hooks a huge marlin'. He shows his strong will and courage 'I will stay with you until I am dead'. 

Like all tragic heroes, Santiago suffers from a tragic flaw. After he kills the Marlin, he is visited by remorse. He asks himself if he has committed a sin by hitting the fish. He consoles himself by saying that 'everybody kills everybody'. But his answer does not satisfy him. He knows that he has killed the Marlin in order to feed people and keep his name alive. Like all tragic heroes, he is also responsible for his downfall. He felt sorry for going too far out.  

Hemingway suggests that the Old Man has overstepped the limits of his physical and mental powers. He is alone on the boat. He is an Old Man. He is weak and exhausted. He must have known that he cannot be a match for the fish and sharks. His tragedy is surely the result of his pride-and individualism. 

Q.11. The theme of the Novel the Old Man and the Sea


Some critics say that the novel is pessimistic. It presents before us a very poor and aged fisherman who is unable to make both ends meet. Without the help of Manolin, Santiago might have died. He lives in a humble shake and has no money to buy his food. Even his companions make fun of him. When he hooks the big marlin, it takes him into the open sea. When he sails back with his fish, the attacking sharks reduce it to a skeleton. 

Thus his entire struggle takes him nowhere. The arguments of these critics seem logical and convincing. But the fact is that they judge things from their appearance. The true yardstick of measuring "Success" is not "gain or loss"; victory or defeat. The great thing is not victory, but the struggle. One may lose; what matters how when behaves while one is losing. The only failure is failing to try. 

Actually, the novel is highly symbolic. Its theme is Man's struggle against the forces of nature. -Hemingway has shown the dignity of man under adverse circumstances. The old man struggles against the big fish and says,
I will show him what a man can do and what he endures
He is confident and resolute. His battle is not yet over.?  the sharks attack the marlin. The old man fights against them honorably. Physically he is falling, fainting and faltering but spiritually he remains resolute, confident, hopeful and determined. He says 
But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated 
The sharks deprived him of his hard-earned fruit. He is proud of his fight. He does whatever is possible to save his marlin. He behaves with courage and endurance. The great human virtue is dignified behaviour while fighting a losing battle. Santiago is a winner who may not have taken anything but who comes out of his conflict with high human dignity and indomitable courage. 

Thus we can rightly say that the novel is a superb piece of literature. It is full of hope and optimism. The theme is universal. The language is simple, terse and crisp. Events are logical and convincing.

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BA English Important Topics of The Old man and the sea BA English Important Topics of The Old man and the sea Reviewed by Saif Ullah ZahidonApril 14, 2020 Rating: 5

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