In the Heart of the Sea

1460 Words Nov 16th, 2010 6 Pages
In the Heart of the Sea
Jason Barker

In the novel “In the heart of the Sea” Nathaniel Philbrick introduces the reader to Nantucket Island located in the east coast. He establishes the importance of the whaling industry in relation to the island. Philbrick does an incredible job of telling the story of 20 regular men doing their jobs whaling. They set sail on a renewed ship called the Essex. The Essex took a beating from a storm before it finally met its match an angered sperm whale. The whale rammed the ship to the point beyond repair. It forced the whalers to put what they can on to the smaller whaler boats. Surviving at sea with limited resources the sailed until they were completely out of everything. The men resorted to the ultimate
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Some decisions that the crew made prior to the ramming of the ship was that they wanted to continue to progress forward instead of heading back to repair the ship when it was damaged. "Pollard's behavior, after both the knockdown and the whale attack, indicates that the lacked the resolve to overrule his two younger and less experienced officers." Chapter 6, pg. 101. Phillbrick puts the point across that the captain was not very authoritative and sturdy with his decisions. In my opinion they should have set their dignity and eagerness aside and repaired the ship when it was damaged the first time from the storm. This could have ultimately increased the survivability of the ship and its members. "At twenty years of age, the Essex was reaching the point when many vessels began to exhibit serious structural deterioration." Chapter 1, pg. 19. Due to the critical condition the ship was already in, the ramming of the ship from the sperm whale was all it needed to put the ship at point of no repair. The crewmembers were forced to take what they can and load up three whaleboats. "The plan had one iron requirement: they had to make their provisions last two months. Each man would get six ounces of hardtack and half a pint of water a day." Chapter 7, pg. 106. The author describes to us what just living from day to day with limited food is
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