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

Nathaniel Philbrick
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 129 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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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. Which of the following is not taken by the crew as the Essex sinks in Chapter 5?

2. Who persuades Pollard to sail to Chile or Peru instead of the Society Islands?

3. After seventeen days in the boats, how far have the men sailed at the end of Chapter 7?

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

5. Compared to the other seventy Nantucket whale ships, how is the Essex considered?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. What is the process for "trying out" a whale?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Herman Melville is inspired by the Essex to write one of the most well known books in literature.

1) Explain how Melville first learns of the Essex's voyage.

2) Describe Melville's experiences in whaling and how they contribute to his book.

3) Analyze the connection of the Essex to Moby Dick along with the similarities and differences in the two epic stories.

Essay Topic 2

Analyze three possible theories about why the whale might have attacked the Essex. Use the book to reference the sources of these theories and the reasons behind them. Also, explain which one you think is the most logical and why.

Essay Topic 3

Before the Essex leaves Nantucket, a detailed account of its age, history, and condition is provided.

1) Explain the modifications and repairs that are done to the Essex before it leaves.

2) Describe the history of the ship, including its background, condition, and why it is considered to be lucky.

3) Analyze the connections between the condition of the Essex and its sinking.

4) Analyze Philbrick's style of writing in delivering the information about the Essex.

(see the answer keys)

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