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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. Compared to the other seventy Nantucket whale ships, how is the Essex considered?
2. As described in Chapter 3, what does each whale boat contain?
3. 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?
4. What do the men do in order to prevent water from splashing over the edges of the remaining boats?
5. In what year does the story take place in?
Short Essay Questions
1. What well known island is part of the Society Islands and why should the crew have been aware of it?
2. Why does the crew decide to leave Henderson Island? Who chooses to stay?
3. What troubles is the Essex having at Cape Horn and off the coast of Chile?
4. What happens when the Essex meets the Aurora?
5. How does the crew of the Essex deal with the second whale sighted in Chapter 3, and what is a Nantucket sleigh ride?
6. What leads to the rescue of Chase's boat?
7. Why does the crew decide not to wait for another whale ship in the Offshore Ground?
8. What difficulties is Chase's boat having in Chapter 11?
9. What is the process for "trying out" a whale?
10. What is Chase's initial opinion about staying on the island in Chapter 9?
Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:
Essay Topic 1
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 2
Chronicle the island town of Nantucket from the nineteenth century to the time that the book was written. Provide an explanation of what the town was like when the Essex set sail and the effects that whaling had on the community. Then, describe how and why Nantucket has changed throughout the years and its present state.
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.
This section contains 2,000 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)