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. After being rescued by the Dauphin, how many captains join Pollard for dinner at the end of Chapter 12?

2. How long does Joy spend on the captain's boat before returning to his own boat and dying?

3. On what day does Pollard reach St. Mary's Island?

4. How common was cannibalism among sailors that are shipwrecked during the time the book takes place?

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. How does Chase prevent the crew from stealing food in Chapter 8?

3. Who attends the dinner on the night Pollard is rescued, and what does Pollard discuss with Aaron Paddack later that night?

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

5. What does the exhibit for the Essex at the Whaling Museum feature?

6. What happens at the end of Chapter 11 when lots are drawn in Pollard's boat?

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

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

9. How has has the town of Nantucket changed since the nineteenth century?

10. What happens to Hendricks' boat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 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

Describe the way that Philbrick conveys the desperation of the men as they get farther away from the sunken ship. Provide multiple examples of how he uses literature in order to emphasize the severity of their situation and their inclination to surrender. Also, analyze the way that Philbrick simultaneously engages the reader along the way with signs of hope and optimism.

(see the answer keys)

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