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. In 1810, how many women over the age of twenty- three are widowed?
(a) Over a quarter.
(b) Almost half.
(c) Over half.
(d) Almost a quarter.

2. According to one naval architect, what might have helped the Essex withstand the whale's attack?
(a) Nothing could have helped it.
(b) If the boat was smaller.
(c) If the boat was new.
(d) If the boat was bigger.

3. How experienced is Benjamin Lawrence in harpooning whales?
(a) This is his third whaling trip.
(b) This is his fourth whaling trip.
(c) He has over ten years of experience.
(d) He is a novice.

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

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 yelling of the men while attempting to kill another whale.
(d) The whale is territorial and protecting its waters.

Short Answer Questions

1. How old is Thomas Nickerson when he first boards the Essex?

2. How long does it take the whale to revive after the collision before preparing to ram the boat again?

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

4. What causes Chase's boat to get a hole in it as they approach another whale on November 20?

5. What is the name given to the event of a harpooned whale dragging a boat at high speeds?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens when the Essex meets the Aurora?

2. How is Nantucket described in Chapter 1?

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

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

5. What are the first difficulties that the Essex experiences at the end of Chapter 2?

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

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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