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

Nathaniel Philbrick
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What is the mood of the men on November 26?
(a) Angry.
(b) Depressed.
(c) Confused.
(d) Delirious.

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

3. How far away in sailing distance from the Essex is the Offshore Ground in Chapter 7?
(a) Four days.
(b) Two days.
(c) Five days.
(d) Three days.

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

5. What discovery does the crew make on November 26?
(a) They are very close to South America.
(b) They are sailing parallel to South America.
(c) They sailed past South America.
(d) They are sailing towards South America.

Short Answer Questions

1. How long does the average hunt for a sperm whale take?

2. After having little luck off the coast of Chile, where does the Essex begin experiencing some success?

3. According to one naval architect, what might have helped the Essex withstand the whale's attack?

4. Compared to the other seventy Nantucket whale ships, how is the Essex considered?

5. Which of the following is not taken by the crew as the Essex sinks in Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

1. What complaint does the crew bring to Pollard at the end of Chapter 3, and how does he handle it?

2. What is unusual about the sperm whale that surfaces unexpectedly in Chapter 5?

3. What are some of the facts that Philbrick discloses about the sinking of the Essex in the Preface?

4. What modifications are made to the whale boats in the beginning of Chapter 6?

5. How is Nantucket described in Chapter 1?

6. As explained in Chapter 2, what route does a Nantucket whale ship normally take?

7. What setbacks are the three boats having as they approach the Society Islands at the end of Chapter 7?

8. How are the three whale boats divided and stocked for the trip at the end of Chapter 6?

9. What well known island is part of the Society Islands and why should the crew have been aware of it?

10. How does the crew initially respond to the sinking of the Essex?

(see the answer keys)

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