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. If the Essex returns with sufficient product, how much money is Thomas Nickerson expecting to make from the trip?
(a) Two hundred and fifty dollars.
(b) One hundred dollars.
(c) Two hundred dollars.
(d) One hundred and fifty dollars.

2. Why does Chase hesitate to attack the giant whale when it resurfaces on the starboard after the collision?
(a) He is afraid because of the size of the whale.
(b) He is worried the tail will destroy the steering device.
(c) He is ordered to halt by Pollard.
(d) There are no weapons nearby.

3. How long do the officers think it will take the crew to reach either Chile or Peru?
(a) Four months.
(b) One month.
(c) Three months.
(d) Two months.

4. As described in Chapter 3, what does each whale boat contain?
(a) A boatsteerer and oarsmen.
(b) A mate, a boat steerer, and oarsmen.
(c) A mate and a boat steerer.
(d) A mate and oarsmen.

5. Which of the following is not taken by the crew as the Essex sinks in Chapter 5?
(a) Fish.
(b) Tools.
(c) Pistols.
(d) Freshwater.

6. What month is it when the island of St. Mary's is sighted off the coast of Chile in Chapter 4?
(a) February.
(b) January.
(c) March.
(d) April.

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

8. What allows a sperm whale the ability to survive a head on collision with a boat?
(a) It's tail acts as a stabilizer to minimize the impact.
(b) It's head is shaped like a battering ram.
(c) It's body is designed to absorb tremendous shock.
(d) It's speed makes it impervious to the impact.

9. After being damaged in the storm, who encourages Pollard to continue with the trip instead of returning to Nantucket?
(a) Only Chase.
(b) Chase and Joy.
(c) Nickerson and Joy.
(d) Only Joy.

10. In what direction does the wind shift, allowing the boats to sail towards Peru?
(a) North.
(b) West.
(c) East.
(d) South.

11. What causes Chase's boat to get a hole in it as they approach another whale on November 20?
(a) Chase kicks the side of the boat out of frustration.
(b) A bolt of lightning strikes the boat.
(c) The whale's tail hits the boat.
(d) The harpoon inadvertently crashes into the side of the boat.

12. How long are the shifts that each man serves on watching the decks during the evenings in Chapter 2?
(a) Eight hours.
(b) Four hours.
(c) Six hours.
(d) Two hours.

13. What do Pollard and Daniel Russell, the captain of the Aurora, discuss in Chapter 4?
(a) The discovery of a new whaling ground.
(b) The remaining time of the Essex's trip.
(c) The discovery of other whaling boats off the coast.
(d) The remaining time of the Aurora's trip.

14. What is the name of the newspaper that includes the article about the Marquesas before the ship sets sail from Nantucket?
(a) New Bedford Mercury.
(b) New Bedford Standard Times.
(c) New Bedford Gazette.
(d) New Bedford Community News.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Whose idea is it to stop keeping track of the longitude in Chapter 7?

2. What is the first thing that the captain and crew of the Dauphin notice when they see the smaller boat?

3. When the men are close enough to attack the whale, what is used in order to pierce its vital organs?

4. Which one of the Galapagos Islands is the crew of the Essex on when they discover a leak in the ship?

5. According to the Preface, what is the primary reason for whale hunting?

(see the answer keys)

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