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. Una originally comes from which state?

2. What is the name of Agatha and Jonathan's daughter?

3. How does Ulysses die?

4. What is the first name of Mrs. Swain?

5. Una was required to stand at ____ feet.

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. What happens while Una is incapacitated with illness?

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

4. What happens to Una after the Sussex sinks?

5. Describe Una's childhood and introduction to the sea.

6. 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?

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

8. Who are Kit and Giles? How do they meet Una? What brings them to Nantucket?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the relationship between Bertha and Ulysses. Are they close? Is there anything unusual about their relationship? How might the situation with Una affect the relationship? Why do you think Una and Ulysses cannot come to terms regarding religion? What extreme measures does Ulysses take to try to convince Una that his way is the only way? What is the final straw that causes Una to leave Kentucky? What is Bertha's opinion? How does Una's move affect the relationship between Bertha and Ulysses? How does the move affect the relationship between Una and Bertha.

Essay Topic 2

Una is influenced by Aunt Agatha's Unitarian faith and ideas on pacifism. Write a 750 word essay on Aunt Agatha's beliefs, how they differ from Bertha's beliefs, and how they affect Una. Also relate the Unitarian perspective on pacifism and racial equality.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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