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 shape are the sails of the Essex?
(a) Rectangular.
(b) Circular.
(c) Triangular.
(d) Square shaped.

2. 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) Rifles.
(d) Firewood.

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

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

5. What do scholars speculate might have caused the whale to attack the Essex?
(a) The clicking sound that Chase makes while repairing his boat.
(b) The boat's attack on other whales that are observed by the large whale.
(c) The whale is territorial and protecting its waters.
(d) The yelling of the men while attempting to kill another whale.

Short Answer Questions

1. How far away are the Marquesas from where the crew is in Chapter 6?

2. How far away in sailing distance from the Essex is the Offshore Ground in Chapter 7?

3. Which fictional novel was inspired by the sinking of the Essex?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What is the process for "trying out" a whale?

2. How is Nantucket described in Chapter 1?

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

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

5. How is a whale killed by sailors?

6. What happens when the Essex meets the Aurora?

7. What troubles is the Essex having at Cape Horn and off the coast of Chile?

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

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

10. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

(see the answer keys)

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