Mark Twain's Letters from Hawaii Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How did Twain board the Ajax in chapter 1, and what caused passengers to become sick?

Twain, like other passengers, was in a drunken state when boarding the Ajax. As he made his way to the lower deck with a concussion, he noticed that the rocking of the seas was making other passengers seasick.

2. What was Twain's objection to the naming of the Pacific Ocean in chapter 2?

Twain was upset that the name, "Pacific," was given to the ocean that is only peaceful for four months out of the year. In chapter 2, he voices his objection over the naming of the Pacific Ocean by the explorer Balboa by stating that the ocean is actually rough and disagreeable.

3. What benefits did Twain think steam ships had?

Steamers were fast and better suited for rough seas than other trade ships, so Twain thought that they would be better for trading in at least eight months out of the year. Also, he indicated that the island of Hawaii could be populated with Americans much faster using steam ships.

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