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

2. How far off the coast of New England is Nantucket located?

3. How many people live in Nantucket in 1819?

4. How do Pollard and Chase react to the way the men take the Essex out to sea?

5. After being damaged in the storm, who encourages Pollard to continue with the trip instead of returning to Nantucket?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is unusual about the sperm whale that surfaces unexpectedly in Chapter 5?

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

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

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

5. How is Nantucket described in Chapter 1?

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

7. What does the Dauphin find in the Preface?

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

9. What are some of the facts that Philbrick discloses about the sinking of the Essex in the Preface?

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

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

Discuss three setbacks that the crew of the Essex face while attempting to sail towards South America after the ship sinks. Include an analysis of the effects that the setbacks have on the crew's plan, how the crew chooses to approach them, and the actions that they take as a result.

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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