In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Test | Final 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. What do the men in Chase's boat discover attached to the bottom of it on December 14?

2. What does the crew on Chase's boat choose to do in order to deal with the unbearable heat in Chapter 8?

3. Which one of the following is not included in the museum's exhibit of the Essex?

4. Due to starvation and lack of clothes, what illness are the men vulnerable to in the cold rain?

5. What island do the men initially think they have found in the beginning of Chapter 9?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does the crew decide to leave Henderson Island? Who chooses to stay?

2. What idea does Pollard have for sailing out of the calm winds in Chapter 8?

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

4. Why do the men resort to cannibalism in Chapter 11, and what is the irony of their situation?

5. How are Wright, Weeks, and Chappel rescued from Henderson Island?

6. What difficulties is Chase's boat having in Chapter 11?

7. What is Chase's initial opinion about staying on the island in Chapter 9?

8. What is the crew concerned about as it sees land in the beginning of Chapter 9?

9. What happens to Hendricks' boat?

10. What request does Joy have before dying in Chapter 10?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Captain Pollard's decision making abilities is the subject of Philbrick's criticism in the book.

1) Describe in detail three decisions that Pollard makes during the Essex's whaling trip as well as after it sinks and how those decisions are influenced.

2) Explain the role that Pollard's decisions have in the outcome of the trip and the survival of the crew.

3) Analyze Philbrick's position on Pollard's ability to make decisions and overrule his crew.

4) Compare the way Pollard handles a complaint from the crew with the other situations he must deal with.

(see the answer keys)

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