Literature-In-English Paper 2 May/June 2015

Question 7

       The Old Man and the Sea

To what extent is the old man successful on his last fishing trip?


 A good number of candidates attempted this question. However, many of them focused on his character, rather than his success on his last fishing trip.

Candidates were expected to mention the following points:

  • Santiago’s inability to catch a single fish in the Gulf Stream for eighty-four days.
  • Determined to break this cycle of failure, Santiago sails far out into the sea, equipped with sardines and two baits wrapped in a newspaper.
  • Eventually, he catches a big fish. He experiences intense pain of endurance and a cramped hand before the fish is caught.
  • He makes a mental calculation of the worth of the fish, which is enough to compensate him for the toil and ill luck of former times and trips.
  • Unfortunately, sharks begin to eat the fish. By the time he reaches the shore there is nothing left of the huge fish.
  • In spite of his failure to retain his catch, it is worth noting his indomitable courage hugely displayed in his fight against tremendous odds.

    Candidates’ performance in the question was fair.