Billy Budd Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who is Red Whiskers?

2. When does the incident in chapter 10 occur?

3. What is a mutiny?

4. Which character is known for his cheerful disposition?

5. Which character is described in chapter 11 as being "down" on Billy?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the social climate on board a ship compare to the social climate on land?

2. What changes the face of naval warfare in the 18th century?

3. Describe John Claggart.

4. How do the officers aboard the Bellipotent view Captain Vere?

5. How does Melville explain moral depravity?

6. What is Captain Vere's favorite hobby?

7. How does the scourging affect Billy?

8. How does deception destroy both Claggart and Billy?

9. What is a mutiny?

10. How do the sailors on board the Bellipotent view John Claggart?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How does literature affect Captain Vere's character? How does the genre of Captain Vere's literary preference affect his relationship with his officers and crew? How do the ideals presented in Captain Vere's favored literature affect his command style and decision making process?

Essay Topic 2

Describe the qualities of the quintessential "Handsome Sailor". How does the "Handsome Sailor" affect the attitudes and actions of the crew of the Bellipotent? What risks are associated with being the "Handsome Sailor"?

Essay Topic 3

What role does fate play in the novel? Which characters accept their proposed fates and which characters appear to struggle against fate? How does fate affect justice?

(see the answer keys)

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