Day 4

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Which population within the crew was faring worse than the others by the time the crew was ready to leave the island? Why?

    The black sailors were in much worse shape. In the 1900s (the earliest statistics available), the life expectancy of a black person was much lower than that of a white person, meaning the African Americans were likely in poorer health prior to climbing aboard the Essex. One they were on the Essex, food served to the black crew in the forecastle was likely worse than the already horrible food served to the sailors in steerage. This meant that they had lower fat reserves and were likely affected more swiftly and intensely by the starvation diet of the...

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