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

Nathaniel Philbrick
This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately 133 pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials.
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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the first thing that the captain and crew of the Dauphin notice when they see the smaller boat?

2. When does the Essex sail towards the Galapagos Islands in Chapter 4?

3. How are sailors paid?

4. Why does Chase hesitate to attack the giant whale when it resurfaces on the starboard after the collision?

5. Which one of the Galapagos Islands is the crew of the Essex on when they discover a leak in the ship?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Chase choose the events to include in a book about the Essex?

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

3. What is Chase's initial opinion about staying on the island in Chapter 9?

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

5. What happens when the Essex meets the Aurora?

6. How does the crew initially respond to the sinking of the Essex?

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

8. What happens to Chase at the end of his life?

9. What does the exhibit for the Essex at the Whaling Museum feature?

10. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

Essay 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

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.

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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