Logo Top Banner
slogan Alaska Timeline Alaska Kids About
Peer Work
Family & Community
History & Culture
Digital Archives
Narrative & Healing
Reading & Writing
Libraries & Booksellers
Teaching & Learning
Reading Workbooks

Writing Workbooks

Multiple Skill Levels

Elementary School

Middle School

High School

Two Old Women

Difficult Dialogues

Ordinary Wolves

Shopping for Porcupine

UAA and APU Books of the Year

Educators' Perspectives

Contact Us

Search Peer Work Only
Sign up for newsletter
Find us on Facebook

Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Writing Workbooks  >  High School
Book Report Exercise  -  Student Example, Dialogue: Hans and Santiago
By Hans « Prev   Page 2 of 2  

Hans: (bitterly) Hello, Santiago.

Santiago: Hello, Hans.

Hans: (sourly) There have been many rumors that you caught a 1,500-pound marlin that measured 18 feet in length.

Santiago: Yes, that is correct, but it was eaten by sharks on my way in.

Hans: (loudly) You idiot. You fish stealing, selfish, greedy old man. You caught my fish and then let it get devoured.

Santiago: It wasn't my fault, I ran out of things to defend myself with.

Hans: But you were not thinking clearly, you were crazy in the head. Remember when you thought, "Is he bringing me in or am I bringing him in?" (Hemingway 99). This proves that you were crazy and had no right to bring him in, he's my fish.

Santiago: That's because I had been at sea for days fighting with a beast.

Hans: (questioning his accusations) Well, you shouldn't have gone after it by yourself anyway, especially after being described as this, "The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck" (Hemingway 9). Either you were very brave or very stupid!

Santiago: I am not stupid. I have been fishing since I was five years old and I knew what I was doing. I got in the fish, didn't I?

Hans: But I could see how selfish you really were when you came home and the boy was crying and you still did not let him fish with you. When you said, "No," (Hemingway 125), after the boy said, "Now we fish together again," (Hemingway 125). You just want all of the glory to yourself forever. The boy was responding to you by crying because of your selfishness, you fool.

Santiago: That's not true, the boy cared for me through his tears and was proud of my bravery and perseverance. I would have let him stay with me, except for this problem, "after forty days without a fish the boy's parents had told him that the old man was salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat" (Hemingway 9). The boy was the only one who believed in me. Everyone else believed me to be crazy or unlucky.

Hans: (softly) Oh…(more sternly) Well, that still doesn't leave out your actions. When you said, "How do you feel, hand?" (Hemingway 58), you should have recognized right there that you were crazy and in no shape to pull in this fish, never the less defend it from sharks! Or when you said, "Don't forget to tell Pedrico that the head is his," (Hemingway 126). That showed that you didn't even care about keeping the fish!

Santiago: No that's not true. When I was speaking to my hand it was because I had not eaten yet. After I ate and drank I was clear and fully capable of killing sharks. I would have fought them to the death. The reason I gave Pedrico the head is because I felt sorry for how I let down the fish and didn't want to bring it, or me, any more pain. It was for the best. Just look at my hands, they are this way because of this, "Just then the fish gave a sudden lurch that pulled the old man down onto the bow" (Hemingway 55), then, "he felt the line carefully with his right hand and noticed his hand was bleeding" (Hemingway 55-6). I fought with that fish long and hard, even when my body was being physically abused.

Hans: (calmly) I am truly sorry, Santiago, I judged you wrong. You are a brave man.


Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1952.

About the Author: Hans is a student at Grace Christian School, Anchorage.
Pages:  1  2 

  Contact Us       LitSite Alaska, Copyright © 2000 - 2017. All rights reserved. University of Alaska Anchorage.
University of Alaska Anchorage