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

2. What time is it on February 18 when Lawrence spots a sail?

3. Where is the Pearl headed with Pollard on board two months after the accident at the French Frigate Shoals?

4. Unknown to the crew in Chapter 9, how many miles away from the island is a community with food and water?

5. How much oil does Chase return with in 1836 on the Charles Carroll?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

5. How does Cole die in Chapter 12?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Describe the first two encounters with a whale that the crew of the Essex has, including a detailed description of the Nantucket sleigh ride. Also, provide an explanation of why this is a significant point in the story and what it indicates for the different members of the crew.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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