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 men are in the small boat when it is first mentioned in the preface?
(a) Five.
(b) Two.
(c) Fifteen.
(d) Eight.

2. Before his first whale kill, how many large mammals did Nickerson kill on Nantucket?
(a) None.
(b) Very few.
(c) An average amount.
(d) Many.

3. How long do the officers think it will take the crew to reach either Chile or Peru?
(a) One month.
(b) Four months.
(c) Three months.
(d) Two months.

4. 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.

5. Which of the following is not taken by the crew as the Essex sinks in Chapter 5?
(a) Tools.
(b) Pistols.
(c) Freshwater.
(d) Fish.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. When did English settlers begin arriving in Nantucket?

3. How many miles west of the Galapagos is the Essex on November 2, 1820?

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

5. What do scholars speculate might have caused the whale to attack the Essex?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

7. As stated in the Preface, when, where, and why are sperm whales hunted?

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

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

10. How is a whale killed by sailors?

(see the answer keys)

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