The Sea Devil Short Story Comprehension Question Answers

(The following is answers for comprehension questions for the short story The Sea Devil)

1. The man likes to fish at night because he liked the loneliness, he liked the labor of it, the clean taste of salt when he gripped the net with his teeth, he liked the arching flight of sixteen pounds of lead and linen against the starlight, The weltering crash of the net into the unsuspecting water, he liked the harsh tug of the retrieving rope around his wrist, the way the net came alive when the cast was true, he liked the thud of captured fish on the floorboards of the skiff, and he liked being the hunter. This leads tho the conflict with the ray because he thought he was going to catch two fish when it was actually the ray. The significance of the fact that he does not have to fish for a living is that he is actually choosing put himself in danger when he doesn’t have to.


a) When he saw some sardines surface suddenly.
b) At the beginning when it says this”Night time on a Florida bay. A man in a rowboat casts his net on still waters, unaware of a deadly danger lurking Just below the surface…”
c) When he thought “the two swirls had the sluggish oily look that marks the
presence of something big just below the surface”

3. The complicating incident in this story is when the man thinks this “he would not cast a single swirl he decided; he would wait until he saw two or three close together.”. A single crises is when A sea devil jumps out of the water trapped in the man’s net. Quickly the man tries to untie the rope around his wrist but he can’t do it quick enough.The man gets dragged and thrashed around violently. The climax is when the man decides to uses the barnacles on the stake to cut the rope and finally gets free and survives. The resolution is when the man released the mullet. The ending is when he decides to never fish at night again. This is a happy ending because the protagonist is successful.

4. Civilized is a stage of social, cultural, and moral development considered to be more advanced and primitive is relating to the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development of something. The purpose made to the plane, the causeway, and the mans wife at home is to show “mans proud mastery over nature”. For example Man has mastered nature by manipulating air to fly, by manipulating the materials on earth to build warm safe houses and causeways to stop the ocean from invading the land, but this is ironic because man hasn’t mastered nature because the man got beaten up by the sea devil (part of nature)

5. The man learned that it was not worth taking the risk to hunt at night when he didn’t have to and he released the mullet because he felt sorry for the mullet because when he was being caught underwater he would have wanted some one to released him too.
6. Examples of descriptive language used
a) The lights glowed in the cheerful room
b) the radio talked importantly to itself.
c) The night was breathless


1. sullen p.32 bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy.
2. weltering ·p.33 weltering
3. elemental p.33 related to or embodying the powers of nature.
4. sinewy p.33 lean and muscular.
5. hoisted p.33 raise (something) by means of ropes and pulleys.
6. phosphorescence p.34 light emitted by a substance without combustion or perceptible heat.
7. cordage p.34 cords or ropes, especially in a ship’s rigging.
8. exhilaration p.34 a feeling of excitement, happiness, or elation.
9. atavistic p. 35 relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral.
10. centrifugal p. 35 moving or tending to move away from a center.
11. gauntly p. 35 extremely thin and bony
12. impeding p. 37 delay or prevent
13. tenaciously p.37 in a determined or unwavering manner.
14. respite p. 38 a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.
15. equilibrium p. 38 a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.
16. imminent p. 39 about to happen.