The Log from the Sea of Cortez Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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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. Why does the expedition party set sail to La Paz?

2. What do Steinbeck and Ricketts buy that was eventually taken by US customs?

3. What does Tex find out about the skiff's outboard motor?

4. What concept is consistent throughout the book, including the section dated March 24?

5. What is teleological thinking, as introduced by the author on Easter Sunday, March 24?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain Steinbeck's remark on the contrast between Tiny's reaction to the death of the sea turtle and that of a scientist's.

2. Briefly explain Steinbeck's theory on "murdering" a boat.

3. What are some examples of Steinbeck's personification of marine life?

4. Describe Tex and make some assumptions on the way he looks.

5. Describe the activities of the expedition party on the eve of their departure. Speculate on the feelings of the team members on this particular night.

6. Tiny and Sparky are described as almost two halves of one person. Make some speculations on their appearance and characters in general.

7. The expedition party reaches the town of San Lucas. Describe the town as mentioned by Steinbeck, and add your own theories on how the town looks and feels like.

8. What is Steinbeck's theory on the origin of the name of a certain place? What was the origin of Steinbeck's musings?

9. Describe Steinbeck's theory on aphrodisiacs and how he encounters some in Cabo San Lucas.

10. What observation does Steinbeck make regarding boats and their owners? Cite a particular example of this observation.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Log from the Sea of Cortez was created out of the author's own frustration over finding documentation that can help him in his voyage, and the desire to do favor for future travelers not to encounter the same fate. Do you think the log serves its purpose? Is there much to be gained from it by future sea travelers? Cite specific characteristics of the log that will be particularly helpful for future travelers.

Essay Topic 2

Steinbeck makes the observation that not having clear aims coupled with the continued need or want for more, leads to apparent useless pastimes such as sports and games. Do you agree or disagree to this observation? Be sure to support your position with specific instances from the story.

Essay Topic 3

Steinbeck makes the analogy of trying to keep a straight course to achieving ideals in life. Please discuss this analogy further. What are the similarities and differences of the two? In both cases, what attitudes and behaviors are desirable? On the other hand, what attitudes and behaviors should one avoid?

(see the answer keys)

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