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

2. Compared to the other seventy Nantucket whale ships, how is the Essex considered?
(a) Old, big, and lucky.
(b) Old, small, and lucky.
(c) New, big, and lucky.
(d) New, small, and lucky.

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

4. On which country's coast is the Dauphin traveling when it spots the smaller boat?
(a) Brazil's.
(b) Chile's.
(c) Argentina's.
(d) Venezuela's.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. In what direction does the wind shift, allowing the boats to sail towards Peru?

2. Which of the following is not included in the list of troubles that the bad weather causes for the Essex in Chapter 4?

3. How long does it take the Essex to round Cape Horn in Chapter 4?

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

5. As described in Chapter 1, what does the sighting of a comet indicate?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do the men resort to cannibalism in Chapter 11, and what is the irony of their situation?

2. How do the boats get separated in Chapter 10?

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

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

5. What is the difference in the way Pollard and Chase are received when they return to Nantucket?

6. How does Philbrick describe Pollard and his experience in Chapter 2?

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

8. How successful is the Essex off the coast of Peru?

9. What is the main concern of the boats during the first few days after the sinking of the Essex?

10. How do the men confuse the name of the island they have found in Chapter 9?

(see the answer keys)

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