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. When does Pollard's boat disappear in Chapter 8?

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

3. Whose ideas is it to repair the bottom of the boat by holding a hatchet against the plank from underwater?

4. How far way is the sail when Lawrence sees it in Chapter 12?

5. What direction do the winds blow from in the trades for seventy percent of the year?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Pollard's boat become separated from Hendricks' boat?

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

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

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

6. How does Chase's boat deal with a shark attack?

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

8. What happens to Hendricks' boat?

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

10. What discovery do the men in Chase's boat make while trying to combat the heat?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the Preface, a general background of whaling is provided by Philbrick.

1) Describe the purpose of the Preface and the literary reasons for the information it includes.

2) Explain why sailors from Nantucket hunted whales and how the whales are typically killed.

3) Analyze the sperm whales as they are presented in the Preface along with why they are specifically targeted by whalers.

Essay Topic 2

Herman Melville is inspired by the Essex to write one of the most well known books in literature.

1) Explain how Melville first learns of the Essex's voyage.

2) Describe Melville's experiences in whaling and how they contribute to his book.

3) Analyze the connection of the Essex to Moby Dick along with the similarities and differences in the two epic stories.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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