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. Who does Kit demand to talk to during his illness?

2. What is Swain's native country?

3. In chapter 12, Agatha and Jonathan take the girls to see which city?

4. What is the name of the river that borders Una's family home?

5. Kit calls out whose name while he makes love to Una?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain some of the issues faced by the Sussex in the storms.

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

3. Discuss Aunt Agatha's influence on Una regarding pacifism and women's rights.

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

5. What happens to Una after the Sussex sinks?

6. Describe the scene in which Una meets Rebekkah Swain.

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. Discuss Una's relationships with Giles and Kit. How does Una feel about the men?

9. The Pequod finally arrives in Nantucket. What is promised by Ahab? Describe the actions of Kit and Una upon arrival. What strange occurrence happens when Kit and Una spend the night together?

10. What information does Ahab have for Una about Kit? What is Una's reaction?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss Naslund's use of Nantucket for the setting in "Ahab's Wife, or, the Star-gazer: A Novel". Why do you think Naslund chose Nantucket? How accurate do you think the setting is in regards to the real location? What areas are most commonly referenced in the story? What other location might have worked as well, if not better, than Nantucket? What is unique about the setting? What regionalisms are exhibited by Una and the rest of the characters? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

Examine the career and professional skills of Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. Detail each man's educational history, professional status, evolution as an attorney, involvement in the abolitionist movement, and other famous cases in which he participated.

Essay Topic 3

Assuming a psychiatrist's point of view, analyze the situation with Kit. Discuss Kit's history and how it might affect possible psychiatric care. What would a psychiatrist say about Kit's mental breakdown? What might a doctor say about Kit's attachment to Giles? Was Kit suffering from dementia, mental illness or something else? What would the terminology be from a psychiatrist's point of view? What kind of treatment might Kit have benefited from before the situation got out of hand? Is the behavior something that can be "cured?" If so, how? If not, what else can be done?

(see the answer keys)

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