Ahab's Wife, or, the Star-Gazer Short Essay - Answer Key

Sena Jeter Naslund
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1. Describe Una's childhood and introduction to the sea.

Una was born in Kentucky. As Una grew older she and her father, Ulysses, began to clash over the topic of religion. The animosity grew to such a point that Una was sent to live with her Aunt Agatha and Uncle Jonathan. Una moves into the lighthouse and finds it hard to adapt at first. Bertha, Una's mother, stays on to help her daughter adjust to the strange atmosphere. Almost immediately Una falls in love with the lighthouse, the stars, and the sea.

2. Who does Una marry? What is famous about Una's husband?

Una marries Ahab, a sea captain that becomes obsessed with capturing and killing Moby Dick, a great white whale. Ahab becomes even more obsessed after he loses his leg. Una stays by Ahab until the captain's death. The author uses a great deal of information about Ahab from Herman Melville's "Moby Dick."

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