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 does the expedition party do on March 22, Good Friday?

2. What happens to the outboard motor on Black Saturday, March 23?

3. Aside from their daily experiences during the expedition, what other topics are discussed by the author?

4. What is taking place on the day before the expedition party leaves for its journey?

5. What does the expedition party do on their last night ashore when their boat is ready and loaded?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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.

3. Briefly discuss Steinbeck's theory on the complications of western systems compared to the simplicity of some other cultures, such as the Indians'.

4. Build on Steinbeck's theory of why the expedition members do not want to catch and cook porpoises.

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

6. Briefly explain how Steinbeck explains teleological and non-teleological thinking. Relate the two on the previous discussion about employment and unemployment.

7. Briefly discuss how Tony's personality is impressed upon the team members as they take turns manning the wheel.

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In most of the Western Flyer's stops, they invariably attract attention from the local people. How does the expedition party look at this attention? Is it helpful, a welcome respite from the otherwise monotonous life at sea? Or is it a nuisance, an unnecessary distraction that detains them from doing other, more productive activities? Support your answers with specific examples from the book.

Essay Topic 2

Steinbeck frequently relates marine organisms to men and vice versa, and thinks of both as equally representative of a larger pattern. Do you support Steinbeck's thinking that they both represent a larger pattern? What pattern could this be? Support your answers with specific instances from the story, if not about men then about marine organisms.

Essay Topic 3

Steinbeck spends some time wondering whether man's defining trait is hope, that is, hope that the future will be better than today. Do you believe or disagree with Steinbeck's hope, and will his wish happen? What are some instances in the book which illustrates this hope? Similarly, are there instances in the story which seem to illustrate the exact opposite of Steinbeck's hope?

(see the answer keys)

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