Literature-In-English Paper 3, May/June 2012  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments

Question 8

Discuss Santiago’s struggle with the Marlin


Candidates were expected to discuss the following points.

  • Marlin is an extra ordinary big fish that Santiago struggles to catch, while fishing.


  • The old man has been on sea for 84 days without catching a fish but is certain that the fish he would eventually catch would be a large fish.
  • He idolizes the Marlin and sees it as his own brother.  He tells himself he must prove worthy of the fish, despite the problems surrounding him.


  • Santiago fantasizes about the fish in the water; he talks to the fish even when it is not in his sight but deep in the sea.
  • The Marlin drags the Old man about on the sea.  Eventually, the fish is caught by the Old man after much struggle and endurance.


  • Santiago also struggles to get the Marlin on shore despite the fact that it has been reduced to skeleton by the sharks.
  • Santiago’s catch of the Marlin draws admiration from his colleagues and tourists.


             Candidates’ performance was poor.                                                                                                 

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