C. C. Ch. 9-10 & Whole Book Questions


  • Captains Courageous Reading Questions Ch. 9-10 (15 pts), Whole Book Questions  (22 pts) AND American Notes 6 Insights Due Friday, Sept. 30th 

READ Rudyard Kipling’s American Notes                                          (22 page Excerpt will be e-mailed to you–please remind me!)

Juniors & Seniors: WRITE Down SIX Insights Into KIPLING’S View of America.

Freshmen & Sophomores: WRITE Down Four Insights Into KIPLING’S View of America.

EVERYONE: Especially notice any significant observations that Kipling made contrasting the East and the West Coasts of America:



Captains Courageous Reading Questions Ch. 9-10

Please write out or type out Acts 17:24-27 at the top of  your Reading Question answers.

 Chapter 9

  1. How do Harvey’s parents respond to his tales of his life at sea?
  2. Where does Kipling’s humor shine through as it relates to Dan and his dad’s “jedgments?” What might this be saying about the potential for Dan and Harvey’s generation?
  3. Why does Cheyne think that “jerk[ing] the We’re Here back to port” might not have been so good for Harvey had Disko done it when he first picked Harvey up?
  1. What decision does Cheyne, Disko, and Dan’s mother arrive at regarding Dan’s future?

 Chapter 10

  1. What choices does Cheyne offer Harvey and what does Harvey choose?
  2. What does Harvey learn from Cheyne about his life and his “climb to the top”?

For historical context watch the following video clips:




  1. What is the significance of Memorial Day in Gloucester? Whose spot did Harvey replace on the We’re Here? How does the Memorial Service affect him?  Do you see any symbolism of conversion in Harvey’s story?  Any symbolism of baptism, death, and resurrection, leaving the old life behind and starting a new one?
  2. What comes of the cook’s prophesy about Harvey and Dan, “Master – man. Man – master”?

See P. 156-157

On these pages, Kipling drops in the ‘N word and has the Cook or Doc, serving Harvey “till the end of his days,” so I wanted to remind you of Kate MacDonald’s note on this.

Racial Slurs and the Subject of Racism in Captains Courageous:

 This nameless cook is a haunting character. He has second sight, which gives him a status that requires respect. He’s a descendant of slaves from Cape Breton, and is, even more unusually, a Gaelic speaker with voodoo beliefs. Kipling’s description of this character fits the culture of his time, with occasional use of the n-word in the dialogue that will offend readers who don’t understand historical context. (AND even those who do, but it was common language in 1896 when Kipling wrote CC.)

But Kipling is also egalitarian: Disko most pointedly does not hold with slavery. The cook is treated with great respect on the ship, and is an equal, paid member of the crew. His seeing into the future adds gooseflesh to this story of boys and men on a very small boat in the middle of the deep green sea.


  1. Once again, please write out or type out Acts 17:24-27 at the top of your Reading Question answers. Keep this verse in mind, as you analyze Captains Courageous and other Kipling works.

Whole Book Journal Questions for Captains Courageous DUE FRIDAY, Oct. 7th

  1. Who’s truly better off in this story—the rich or the hard laboring fishermen? Why?


  1. Who’s more connected with past generations and has stayed grounded in traditional American and family values, knowing “what is life indeed?” Give examples from book to explain your answer.


  1. How does the We’re Here compare to newer more “progressive boats—the new “toothpicks”? What do the various fishing boats seem to represent in the book? Why do you think the Troop’s schooner is named the We’re Here?  Do you think some of America has forgotten what the Troops and the We’re Here represent?  Why or why not.


  1. What do you think the railroad that Cheyne owns represents? (See Sparks Notes) USE VENN DIAGRAM TO COMPARE AND CONTRAST HARVEY CHEYNE SR. WITH CORNELIUS VANDERBILT.


These short video clips will help:





  1. a. List as many differences as you can between the Troops and the Cheynes. (include observations on what the Troops have that the Cheynes do not (until the very end of the book, perhaps.) 

 How does this list relate to the East and West Coasts of America in the 19th Century? (Use what you gather from American Notes and Sparks Notes and add to your East vs West Coast Venn Diagrams.)


  1. Contrast Harvey Sr. with Disko. Think of how Harvey Sr. describes his rise to the top. What is Disko’s success built upon?  How did he learn his trade? 


  1. Contrast Mrs. Cheyne with Mrs. Troop. How have their husband’s careers affected them? (Do they at all symbolize the differences between what Kipling has observed in the West versus the East?  Anything in American Notes relate to this?


For Important Historical Context Information see:

Railroad Notes & The Gilded Age & the Progressive Era (1877–1917) at SparkNotes (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/gildedage/summary.html AND http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/gildedage/section5.rhtml

Andrew Carnegie –

John D. Rockefeller –

Cornelius Vanderbilt –

Industrialization and Big Business


The West

Transcontinental Railroads

Captains of Industry

Vanderbilt and the Railroads

Cornelius Vanderbilt

Key People

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1 Response to C. C. Ch. 9-10 & Whole Book Questions

  1. Pingback: C. C. Table of Contents | Literature Discovery

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