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. How much does the huge whale that appears off the port bow in Chapter 5 weigh?
(a) Eighty tons.
(b) Seventy tons.
(c) Fifty tons.
(d) Sixty tons.

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

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

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

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

6. Which of the following is not included in the list of supplies that are loaded onto the Essex as it prepares for the journey in Chapter 1?
(a) Freshwater.
(b) Food.
(c) Firewood.
(d) Rifles.

7. Which fictional novel was inspired by the sinking of the Essex?
(a) Moby Dick.
(b) Treasure Island.
(c) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
(d) The Cruel Sea.

8. Whose idea is it to stop keeping track of the longitude in Chapter 7?
(a) Pollard.
(b) Chase.
(c) Joy.
(d) Nickerson.

9. In what year does the story take place in?
(a) 1801.
(b) 1812.
(c) 1821.
(d) 1810.

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

11. What does the whale do after hitting the Essex below the anchor in Chapter 5?
(a) It swims away.
(b) It sits on top of the water.
(c) It begins swimming in circles around the boat.
(d) It begins to hammer the boat with its tail.

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

13. How far away from the first whale sighted do the men position themselves in the boats?
(a) Ten miles.
(b) Ten feet.
(c) One foot.
(d) One mile.

14. After having little luck off the coast of Chile, where does the Essex begin experiencing some success?
(a) Off the coast of Uruguay.
(b) Off the coast of Argentina.
(c) Off the coast of Colombia.
(d) Off the coast of Peru.

15. When did ships from Nantucket first start rounding Cape Horn?
(a) 1791.
(b) 1781.
(c) 1718.
(d) 1719.

Short Answer Questions

1. As the frustrations grow on the Essex, what complaint do the men bring to Pollard at the end of Chapter 3?

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

3. How much can sperm whales weigh?

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

5. What is the equivalent of the amount of food that each man is given in order to ration it for the trip?

(see the answer keys)

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