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. What type of church does Una attend?

2. Where does the crew member live?

3. What is the name of the inn where Una stays?

4. What is a porthole?

5. What type of berries are not mentioned in relation to Nantucket?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. What happens to Una after the Sussex sinks?

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

4. What happens while Una is incapacitated with illness?

5. 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.

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

7. 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.

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

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. Discuss the conversation between Starbuck and Una.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Kit and Giles were both objects of Una's affections early in the story. Examine the relationship Una had with each man. Also compare and contrast Kit and Giles on personal and professional levels. Do you think things might have been different if Giles had lived?

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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