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. As described in the Preface, in which ocean are the whales hunted?
(a) Indian.
(b) Arctic.
(c) Pacific.
(d) Atlantic.

2. Who persuades Pollard to sail to Chile or Peru instead of the Society Islands?
(a) Only Joy.
(b) Chase and Joy.
(c) Only Chase.
(d) No one.

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

4. Which one of the Galapagos Islands is the crew of the Essex on when they discover a leak in the ship?
(a) Culpepper Island.
(b) Hood Island.
(c) Tower Island.
(d) Barrington Island.

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

Short Answer Questions

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

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

3. As described in Chapter 3, what does each whale boat contain?

4. How old is Captain George Pollard, Jr. when he boards the Essex in Chapter 2?

5. How long are the shifts that each man serves on watching the decks during the evenings in Chapter 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the crew of the Essex deal with the second whale sighted in Chapter 3, and what is a Nantucket sleigh ride?

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

3. What is done to the Essex in order to prepare it for the trip?

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

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

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

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

8. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

9. Why does the crew decide not to wait for another whale ship in the Offshore Ground?

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

(see the answer keys)

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