Ahab's Wife, or, the Star-Gazer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Sena Jeter Naslund
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Out on the open water, the captain orders Una to be on the lookout for which of the following?

2. What is the name of the wife of the captain of the Alba Albatross?

3. How does Ulysses die?

4. How many barrels of oil were taken from the whale in chapter 66?

5. Who lays out nice things in Una's cabin?

Short Essay Questions

1. Una and Kit discuss the steps they took in order to stay alive while out at sea. What does the pair discuss?

2. Una begins to think about her future on Nantucket. What are some of Una's thoughts?

3. Nantucket is an island that often depends on outside sources in order to function as an independent town/region. Explain how the area functions with limited supplies and resources.

4. Examine Una's connection with the lighthouse. How long did it take before Una fully explored the structure? Una often equated the lighthouse to freedom. Explain Una's feelings toward the lighthouse.

5. Una and Giles talk about climbing the topsail and feeling like birds out over the ocean. What happens to Giles the next day? What happens to Kit?

6. Una begins to think about the return to Nantucket. What are some of the things Una thinks about regarding her future on the island?

7. Una spends a great deal of time with Chester. Examine the friendship between Una and Chester. Also examine some of Una's activities on board the Sussex.

8. Ahab deals with Kit after his bout of dementia. What does Ahab do to try to keep Kit under control?

9. Una decides to dress up as a cabin boy so that she can go out to sea with Kit and Giles. Examine Una's plan. Who does Una meet on the ship?

10. Examine the scene in which Una becomes temporarily blinded.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Robben Avalon's sculptures serve as a symbol of his models. Una is thrilled when Robben gives one of his statues to Ishmael. Una hopes that the statue will remind Ishmael of her if they were never to meet again. Robben also chose various people to act as his models. Discuss Robben's work, its symbolism, and how it is used to bring characters together.

Essay Topic 2

Frannie becomes dedicated to the anti-slavery movement and goes to work with Frederick Douglass. What does Frannie do for Douglass? What type of work would best suit Frannie? What prompts Frannie to want to work for Douglass? What most affected Frannie in regards to anti-slavery and racial equality? What types of contributions might Frannie make in her new job?

Essay Topic 3

Naslund discusses the areas traveled by the various ships including the Sussex and the Pequod. Discuss the routes traveled by these ships as well as the common trade routes of the day. Examine the length of time it took the ships to travel the entire route and why some ships were gone years longer than others. Give a crew member's perspective and a captain's perspective on where a ship should travel and where the best opportunities lie for whaling. Compare those trade routes to ones commonly used today.

(see the answer keys)

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