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. How long is it after avoiding the Society Islands in fear of cannibalism that the crew resorts to it for survival?

2. How does Aaron Paddack respond to Pollard's story as Chapter 12 ends?

3. What has the boarding house that Nickerson owned become in modern times?

4. After being separated from Hendricks' boat, how far from the coast of South America is Pollard?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to Hendricks' boat?

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

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

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

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

6. How does Pollard's whaling career end, and how is he remembered?

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

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

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

10. How do the boats get separated 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

Upon their return to Nantucket, Pollard, Chase, and Nickerson decide to give their accounts of the tragedy.

1) Analyze all three accounts, including the similarities and differences between them.

2) Compare the facts of the trip that Philbrick provides in the book with Chase's version.

3) Describe Pollard's response to the existing stories and how his version is received.

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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