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In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Topics for Discussion

Nathaniel Philbrick
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After the shipwreck, why did the crew decide to sail for the coast of South America rather than the closer islands to the east? What factors (historical, cultural, etc.) led to their decision?

What were the differences in George Pollard's and Owen Chase's leadership styles? Did these differences contribute to the tragedies? If so, how?

Discuss the social hierarchies in Nantucket and on whaleships. How did a person's background affect their position and their experiences throughout the tragedy?

Philbrick mentions that Nantucketers don't talk about the Essex perhaps because of the race of the men who were the first to be eaten by the others. Did race have anything to do with who lived or died on the Essex? If so, how?

Describe the experiences that a crew on a whaling ship would have. What was the process of killing a whale? Where would the men travel...

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This section contains 183 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Study Guide
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