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 happens to the vessel during Tiny and Sparky's watch?

2. What do members of the party feel when they are the one manning the wheel?

3. There is a struggle for scraps and morsels of food.Who are the participants in the struggle?

4. Who is the captain of the ship for the expedition?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

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

4. Briefly discuss Steinbeck and Ricketts' interaction with a boy named Raul and give possible reasons why they willingly went with him.

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

6. 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.

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

8. 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.

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

10. Briefly discuss the group's encounter when they try to have chicken for dinner. Can you give some rationale to the efforts the group went through just to have chicken for dinner?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Log from the Sea of Cortez contains not only information on marine biology but also discussions on philosophy, biology and spirituality, among others. Discuss whether sea voyage or any voyage in particular prompts analytical thinking on life and other sublime topics. Support your answers with examples from the story.

Essay Topic 2

Explain the concept of teleological and non-teleological thinking in your own words. Cite specific instances in the book when a particular character has displayed either of the two types of thought. Give examples of the two types of thought in religion, politics, child-rearing, and even health.

Essay Topic 3

Steinbeck makes some comments on the different reactions a scientist and a layman has on death. Expound this comment further. Describe the two reactions, define the uniqueness of each. What are the differences these two reactions will have? Do you think there will be times when a layman will have the same reaction as a scientist has, and vice versa? Why or why not? Cite several examples from the story.

(see the answer keys)

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