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

2. Una and Giles talk about climbing the ____.

3. How old is Una when Bertha and Ulysses visit Nantucket?

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

5. Which famous book is mentioned throughout the story?

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 to Una after the Sussex sinks?

3. In chapter seventy-three, it becomes clear to Una that Kit is not going to improve. Discuss some of Kit's actions. What is Una's reaction?

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

5. Una continues to be troubled by her relationship with Kit. Explain Una wandering around in the dark.

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Naslund does not tell the story in chronological order, which may or may not confuse the issue regarding Una's relationship with Ahab and the birth of Justice. Discuss the purpose of this technique. Was Naslund intent on filling in the back story or was there another purpose to using this method? Was the technique effective? Explain. Rewrite one of the passages keeping the story in chronological order to make the story line clear.

Essay Topic 2

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 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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