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. Out of twenty men who witnessed the sinking of the Essex, how many total men survived?
(a) Eighteen.
(b) Two.
(c) Ten.
(d) Eight.

2. After having little luck off the coast of Chile, where does the Essex begin experiencing some success?
(a) Off the coast of Colombia.
(b) Off the coast of Uruguay.
(c) Off the coast of Argentina.
(d) Off the coast of Peru.

3. What is the equivalent of the amount of food that each man is given in order to ration it for the trip?
(a) Six slices of bread.
(b) Eight slices of cheese.
(c) Eight slices of bread.
(d) Six slices of cheese.

4. How long does the average hunt for a sperm whale take?
(a) One to two months.
(b) One to two years.
(c) Six months to a year.
(d) Two to three years.

5. What do the men do in order to prevent water from splashing over the edges of the remaining boats?
(a) They put weights on each end of the boats to minimize their movement.
(b) They build bigger sails for the boats.
(c) They build up the sides of each boat.
(d) They put covers on the tops of the boats.

Short Answer Questions

1. According to one naval architect, what might have helped the Essex withstand the whale's attack?

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

3. What surprises Nickerson about Chase while they are on the sea?

4. What is the mood of the men on November 26?

5. How much does the huge whale that appears off the port bow in Chapter 5 weigh?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. How does the crew of the Essex decide to sail towards South America instead of the Society Islands?

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

7. How is the Essex attacked by the whale and what happens to the ship as a result?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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