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 is the name of Kit's old girlfriend?

2. What is the name of Starbuck's wife?

3. What is a porthole?

4. What is Kit's last name?

5. Una talks with Giles about making a harness out of braided ____.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

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

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

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. Explain the relationship between Giles and Chester. Who makes the arrangements? How does Una use the arrangement to her advantage?

9. 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.

10. What job is given to Una by Ahab? Why is Una not concerned with potential dangers?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write a short story from the point of Una regarding her first meeting with Ahab. How did the pair become friends and eventually lovers? Does the couple have anything in common at all? If so, what? How does Una adjust her life in regards to Ahab's work and long periods away at sea? How has the life of each character changed since they met?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the characters, plots, settings, and outcomes of the stories in "Ahab's Wife, or, the Star-gazer: A Novel" by Sena Jeter Naslund and Herman Melville's Moby Dick." Use various the scenarios in the books for comparison. How do the storylines differ? What is the conclusion of each story? Which lead character did you like better? Explain.

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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