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. According to the Preface, what is the primary reason for whale hunting?

2. Why does Pollard think that backtracking to the Galapagos Islands is impossible in Chapter 6?

3. Which fictional novel was inspired by the sinking of the Essex?

4. How far away from the first whale sighted do the men position themselves in the boats?

5. How do the men on Pollard's boat respond to the whale's attack?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. How does Lawrence repair the leak in Chase's boat?

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

10. What leads to the rescue of Chase's boat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

The whale's attack on the Essex is the turning point of the story and the ship's voyage.

1) Describe the behavior and actions of the whale when it is first sighted along with why they are considered strange.

2) Explain how the whale attacks the ship and the response of the crew members during the attack.

3) Discuss why Philbrick states in the Preface that the whale's attack on the Essex is only the beginning of the story.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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