Of Cannibalism In Nathaniel Philbrick's In The Heart Of The Sea

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In Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea the crew of the Essex is set adrift in the Pacific forcing them to break the boundaries set by society and do whatever it takes to survive. As the whaleship Essex made its whaling trip through the Pacific, a vicious attack by a whale, poor decisions, depleted rations, and extreme starvation lead to cannibalism.

To begin, a catastrophic event first turns the crew of the Essex towards cannibalism as they are forced to limit their supplies of food and water. As the whaleship Essex made it’s way across the Pacific, an eighty-five foot sperm whale causes the ship to sink. This event put the lives of the crew of the Essex in danger and limited their food and water supplies to all that they could carry in three small whaleboats. On page 90 a quote from the text states, “Elsewhere they broke through the planks to find casks of freshwater- more, in fact, than they could safely
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A key cause in resorting to cannibalism is not have enough nutrients to survive, which is often caused by lack of food and/or water. It is emphasized that the crew in Pollard’s boat was reduced to eating very little “with barely a pound of hardtack left to share among ten men.” As the men got more hungry their bodies began to deteriorate and the need for food was becoming overwhelming. Without food the men began to starve, their bodies in desperate need for food and water once provided by the hard bread and meat of their depleted rations. Despite the navigation equipment salvaged from the wreck of the Essex, both Pollard and Chase miscalculated their positions, and storms and strong currents drove their boats away from their destination. Sometimes being pushed back, and other times sailing in the wrong direction, the crew of the Essex was at sea long enough to run out of food which pushed them farther along the path leading to

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