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. Which of the following is not included in the list of supplies that are loaded onto the Essex as it prepares for the journey in Chapter 1?

2. After stopping at the Cape Verde Islands in Chapter 3, how many spare whale boats does the Essex now have?

3. In what year does the story take place in?

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

5. After having little luck off the coast of Chile, where does the Essex begin experiencing some success?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Nantucket described in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How is a whale killed by sailors?

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

10. What does the Dauphin find in the Preface?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain in detail how Pollard's and Chase's boats are rescued in different areas and the varying routes that the crew members take back to Nantucket. Also, include a description of how the three men are rescued on Henderson Island, the difficulties with the rescue, and the unknown status of the third whale boat from the Essex.

Essay Topic 2

Philbrick chooses to begin the story with the Dauphin's rescue of Pollard's boat. Use the book as a reference to discuss the reasons why he selects this particular event as the starting point. Also, include a description of the rescue and an analysis of the other facts about the upcoming tragedy that Philbrick discloses in the Preface.

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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