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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Themes

Nathaniel Philbrick
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of In the Heart of the Sea.
This section contains 924 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Study Guide

Themes

Man and Nature

In many ways, In the Heart of the Sea is a narrative of man's struggles with nature. The whaling endeavor itself was fraught with natural dangers and obstacles. Nantucket whalers had to contend with unpredictable storms, changing winds, the dangers of rounding Cape Horn, and other underwater dangers like coral reefs and rocks. Dangers also existed in hunting whales, where a panicked or surfacing whale could overturn or damage a whaleboat.

The crew of the Essex also struggled with nature on the tragic voyage that Philbrick writes about. In the Atlantic, they faced a violent storm and winds that knocked down the boat, creating a situation that was almost disastrous. On their first whale sighting, a surfacing whale overturned and damaged Chase's whaleboat. The men faced rounding Cape Horn and more storms as they made their way to the Offshore Ground. There, a large bull sperm...

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This section contains 924 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Study Guide
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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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