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 did English settlers begin arriving in Nantucket?

2. What does the whale do after hitting the Essex below the anchor in Chapter 5?

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

4. How much can sperm whales weigh?

5. What time does Chase order the men to prepare the ship for whaling in Chapter 2?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Philbrick describe Pollard and his experience in Chapter 2?

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

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

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

5. How is the Essex described in Chapter 1?

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

7. What does the Dauphin find in the Preface?

8. As explained in Chapter 2, what route does a Nantucket whale ship normally take?

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

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

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

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

The Whaling Museum features an exhibit for the Essex. Discuss how the sinking of the Essex is initially regarded by the town, the reasons why, and the way that the ship is now remembered. In addition, provide an analysis of how the sperm whales have changed as a result of the whaling that took place during the nineteenth century.

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