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Copy of Book Report

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Aleesa Parnell

on 6 April 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Book Report

Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of
In the Heart of the Sea
. He has written twelve other nonfiction books. For this book in particular I thought he was a good fit because when he was just a child his father would tell him stories every night about how a whale attacked ships unprovoked. His uncle, the late Charles Philbrick, wrote a five-hundred-line poem about the
. He grew up with lots of knowledge about the story, it seems only fitting that he tell the story himself.
Nathaniel Philbrick
This book is about how dangerous whaling is. Half of the crew did not even know how to swim! They would sail out thousands of miles from land to kill one of the largest creatures on earth. Not only was it dangerous, but it was also a very difficult thing to do emotionally. The book describes the physical and emotional trials the crew goes through out at sea.

I enjoyed reading this book, because it was nothing like I had ever read. I would not recommend this book to anyone who has a weak stomach because it describes in great detail the horror of killing the world's largest animal and the disgusting details of cannibalism. By reading this story I learned a lot about the process of whaling and how dangerous the job is.

Benefits of Non-fiction
If someone were to make up this story, it would not have the same effect. It can be emotional and heartbreaking to read about the struggles of fictional characters you've grown to love, but to read it knowing that it actually happened to someone in real life, makes it ten times more impactful. Reading about what these men went through just to continue breathing made me question why I complain about small things like emptying the dishwasher or cleaning my room. This would be an amazing story if it was fiction, but because it is non-fiction it is not only amazing, it is inspirational.
A Summary
The book I chose to read was In The Heart of The Sea. It is a book about the adventures and tragedies of whaling.

What was supposed to be a routine mission becomes an unprecedented disaster for the whaleship Essex. Within a few days, the Essex nearly flips after being slammed by a freak storm. They then decide to try their luck with the newly discovered breeding grounds of the Sperm whale. The breeding ground is swarming with hundreds of whales to try and kill, but it is thousands of miles away from land. Having had no luck so far, the crew takes their chances and heads towards the breeding ground. During a hunt, the Essex is shockingly attacked by a sperm whale—the first recorded instance of an intentional attack on humans by a sperm whale. This attack cost them all their provisions. Although they were able to catch a few fish and turtles to eat the starving sailors descend into cannibalism. The youngest of the crew was the one to suggest this horrifying solution. In their starving minds, ending one person's life to save an entire crew's was what needed to be done. They cast lots to see who the first victim would be. Ironically, the young boy who suggested it was the first one to be chosen. Five more men were eaten before they reached land. Only a couple survived, and those who did survive were haunted by their decisions for life.
By: Aleesa Parnell
In the Heart of the Sea
The Woes of Whaling
Insight and Information
This book was about whaling. I learned a lot about why and how they did this. Here is a description from
In the Heart of the Sea
about what it was like to kill a whale:

When the lance finally found its mark, the whale would begin to choke on its own blood, its spout transformed into a fifteen-to twenty-foot geyser of gore that prompted the mate to shout, "Chimney's afire!" As the blood rained down on them, the men took up the oars and backed furiously away, then paused to watch as the whale went into what was known as its flurry. Beating the water with its tail, snapping at the air with its jaws-even as it regurgitated large chunks of fish and squid-the creature began to swim in an ever tightening circle, Then, just as abruptly as the attack had begun with the first trust of the harpoon, it ended. The whale fell motionless and silent, a giant black corpse floating fin-up in a slick of its own blood and vomit. (Philbrick 54)
Seeing it all
This is a harpoon which is what they would have used to kill the whale. Sometimes they would have to stab the whale up to fifteen times before it was dead.
This picture is two sperm whales. Sperm whales can grow up to be fifty or more feet long. They can also weigh up to 32,000 pounds. Just imagine the feat of killing an animal this huge.
I put this picture here
to show how huge
the sperm whale's
mouth is. It has razor
sharp teeth, and its
head takes up one third of its length.
From the early eighteenth century through the late 20th, the species was a prime target of whalers. The head of the whale contains a liquid wax called spermaceti, from which the whale derives its name. Spermaceti was used in lubricants, oil lamps, and candles. Ambergris, a waste product from its digestive system, is still used as a fixative in perfumes.
"It is painful to witness the death of the smallest of God's created beings, much more, one in which life is so vigorously maintained as the Whale! And when I saw this, the largest and most terrible of all created animals bleeding, quivering, dying a victim to the cunning of man, my feelings were indeed peculiar!" (Philbrick 54)
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