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

2. How many men are in the small boat when it is first mentioned in the preface?

3. Whose boat had the least amount of people in it as the crew divides for its trip in Chapter 6?

4. What shape are the sails of the Essex?

5. How long is the huge whale that appears off the port bow in Chapter 5?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

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

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

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

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

7. What does the Dauphin find in the Preface?

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

9. What well known island is part of the Society Islands and why should the crew have been aware of it?

10. What happens when the Essex meets the Aurora?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the lives of Pollard and Chase, their experiences before and after sailing on the Essex, their leadership styles, and how they are remembered.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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