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 long is it in between whale sightings in Chapter 3?
(a) Several hours.
(b) Several weeks.
(c) Several months.
(d) Several days.

2. How much water is each man given per day as the crew attempts to make it to land in Chapter 7?
(a) Three-quarters of a pint.
(b) A half pint.
(c) A pint.
(d) A quarter pint.

3. 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 speed makes it impervious to the impact.
(c) It's head is shaped like a battering ram.
(d) It's body is designed to absorb tremendous shock.

4. What is the first thing that the captain and crew of the Dauphin notice when they see the smaller boat?
(a) The men on the ship.
(b) The bones on the ship.
(c) A flag.
(d) A fire.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. Why does Pollard choose the Society Islands as the crew's destination?

4. Which well known island is mentioned in Chapter 6 as a part of the Society Islands that the Nantucketers should have known about?

5. Which provisions does the crew of the Essex plan to purchase at the Azores?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What events take place on Hood Island at the end of Chapter 4?

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

4. How do two whales escape from Chase's boat in the beginning of Chapter 5?

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

6. What happens when the Essex tries to leave Nantucket?

7. What happens when the first whale of the trip is sighted?

8. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

9. How does Pollard's boat respond to being attacked by a whale in Chapter 7?

10. What is used to determine the wages of sailors that participate in whaling trips, and how will Nickerson be paid?

(see the answer keys)

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