In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Nathaniel Philbrick
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What Ecuadorian city does the Essex stop at during September in Chapter 4?

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

3. What happens when Chase's boat attempts to approach a whale on November 16?

4. As the frustrations grow on the Essex, what complaint do the men bring to Pollard at the end of Chapter 3?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the Dauphin find in the Preface?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Nature is a main element of the book and the Essex's voyage. Explain three examples of the effects that nature has on the story and the trip. Include an analysis of how the crew responds to nature and how their responses also have an effect on the book's themes.

Essay Topic 2

After the crew kills its first whale, Philbrick takes the reader step by step through the process of "trying out" a whale.

1) Explain the procedure for gutting a whale, retrieving oil, and which parts are used.

2) Describe how oil and other products are made from the insides of a whale.

3) Analyze the techniques that Philbrick uses in describing the process and the reasons for them.

Essay Topic 3

Captain Pollard's decision making abilities is the subject of Philbrick's criticism in the book.

1) Describe in detail three decisions that Pollard makes during the Essex's whaling trip as well as after it sinks and how those decisions are influenced.

2) Explain the role that Pollard's decisions have in the outcome of the trip and the survival of the crew.

3) Analyze Philbrick's position on Pollard's ability to make decisions and overrule his crew.

4) Compare the way Pollard handles a complaint from the crew with the other situations he must deal with.

(see the answer keys)

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