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 avert potential disaster after crashing into the French Frigate Shoals?

2. What is the first concern that the men have about the island they find?

3. On December 13, how many nautical miles do the men think they are away from reaching the light variable winds they need?

4. What has Pollard's Nantucket house become in modern times?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How is Pollard's boat rescued?

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

5. How does Chase choose the events to include in a book about the Essex?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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