In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

Nathaniel Philbrick
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. When does the loading of the Essex begin?
(a) July 5.
(b) August 15.
(c) August 5.
(d) July 15.

2. What surprises Nickerson about Chase while they are on the sea?
(a) Chase uses force to see that his orders are followed.
(b) Chase does not talk to anyone but the captain.
(c) Chase does not appear to understand how a ship works.
(d) Chase has a mild-mannered approach to assigning tasks.

3. Why is the crew concerned about the Marquesas?
(a) There are rumors that the inhabitants are cannibals.
(b) They are infested with insects.
(c) Many other sailors have disappeared there.
(d) There are no supplies there.

4. How many people live in Nantucket in 1819?
(a) Eight thousand people.
(b) Five thousand people.
(c) Six thousand people.
(d) Seven thousand people.

5. Which weapon does Pollard choose to keep for himself as Chapter 6 ends?
(a) Pistol.
(b) Knife.
(c) Shotgun.
(d) Musket.

6. How long does it take the crew of the Essex to kill eleven whales in Chapter 4?
(a) Three months.
(b) Five months.
(c) Two months.
(d) Four months.

7. What is the crew hoping for as they enter the Offshore Grounds?
(a) Another whale.
(b) Stronger winds.
(c) Another whale ship.
(d) Weaker winds.

8. Which well known island is mentioned in Chapter 6 as a part of the Society Islands that the Nantucketers should have known about?
(a) Bali.
(b) Tahiti.
(c) Tasmania.
(d) Bermuda.

9. When the men are close enough to attack the whale, what is used in order to pierce its vital organs?
(a) A lance.
(b) An oar.
(c) A knife.
(d) A harpoon.

10. What happens when Chase's boat attempts to approach a whale on November 16?
(a) The whale outruns the boat.
(b) The whale drags the boat for several miles.
(c) The whale is wounded, but not killed.
(d) The whale emerges underneath the boat.

11. How is the whale towed back to the ship after it is killed in Chapter 3?
(a) On its side.
(b) Tail first.
(c) Head first.
(d) On its back.

12. According to one naval architect, what might have helped the Essex withstand the whale's attack?
(a) If the boat was new.
(b) If the boat was bigger.
(c) Nothing could have helped it.
(d) If the boat was smaller.

13. How do Pollard and Chase react to the way the men take the Essex out to sea?
(a) They are angry.
(b) They are amused.
(c) They are embarrassed.
(d) They are proud.

14. Why does Pollard choose the Society Islands as the crew's destination?
(a) He has been there before.
(b) They are closer.
(c) They are safer.
(d) He has friends that live there.

15. How long does the average hunt for a sperm whale take?
(a) Six months to a year.
(b) Two to three years.
(c) One to two years.
(d) One to two months.

Short Answer Questions

1. How long is the huge whale that appears off the port bow in Chapter 5?

2. What is the name of the newspaper that includes the article about the Marquesas before the ship sets sail from Nantucket?

3. What do scholars speculate might have caused the whale to attack the Essex?

4. How experienced is Benjamin Lawrence in harpooning whales?

5. What does the Aurora bring for the crew of the Essex?

(see the answer keys)

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