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. What explanation does the expedition party give to the Mexicans they meet on Espiritu Santo Island?

2. What examples of marine life does the expedition party collect in Espiritu Santo Island?

3. What does the expedition party find when they finally landed on the shores of San Jose Island?

4. What is interesting about the bonito and other fish that caught Steinbeck and Ricketts' attention?

5. What difference does the section dated March 24 have from the rest of the book?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Briefly state the discussions made by Steinbeck and Ricketts on different ways of thinking, particularly looking at the society and the balance that is maintained all the time, as specified by their given example on employment.

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

4. Describe the members of the expedition team and their vehicle.

5. What difference does this particular expedition have over the other travels? Why is this so?

6. How does Steinbeck compare staying on course at sea to achieving a goal in life?

7. Steinbeck notices two men and a woman in Cabo San Lucas, paddling their canoe to the boat to do a little talking. He remarks that the indigenous people's sense of time is different from theirs. Describe the group that Steinbeck encounters, and what about their appearance invites such remarks from Steinbeck?

8. Steinbeck hints at Tiny's stories of his past as being too racy to be repeated in the book. Speculate on Tiny's past. What could his stories be about and why can't it be repeated in the book?

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

10. Describe the Sea-Cow and how did it get its name? How does the expedition party relate to it? Does the expedition party treat the Sea-Cow fairly?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Tex loves diesel engines and sees them as pure, logical, perfect mechanical entities. Is this love for diesel engines what made Tex become a mechanic or did Tex get to love diesel engines after being a mechanic and being exposed to them? Whether it is the former or the latter, what does this say about Tex? If it is the former, is Tex then a dreamer/romantic who pursues his ideals from his childhood? Or if it is the latter, is Tex then a logical person who sees the value in things and appreciates these values? How are these traits exhibited in the story? Whatever your answers are, please support them with instances in the story.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The Log from the Sea of Cortez is meant as a document to help future sea travelers. Instead it contains many discussions on philosophy, life, politics, war, among others. Do you think it would help if the author and the log if an outline was prescribed, or a guide as to what should be written down and how it should be presented? In short, what are the improvements that can be made to the Log from the Sea of Cortez to make it more faithful to its original objective, which is to help sea travelers with their voyage?

(see the answer keys)

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