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. Which character is known for this neat, careful dress?

2. How do Captain Vere's officers view their commander's seafaring skills?

3. Who causes the uncomfortable incident in chapter 10?

4. Who is Squeak?

5. In chapter 14, how does Billy react to the sailor's request?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Claggart "down" on Billy?

2. Which one of the seven deadly sins drives Claggart to destroy Billy?

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

4. How do ruling bodies on board a ship compare to ruling bodies on land?

5. Who is Squeak?

6. How does deception destroy both Claggart and Billy?

7. How does Melville explain moral depravity?

8. Describe John Claggart.

9. Describe Billy's background.

10. What is a mutiny?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

According to Melville, why are sailors more trusting than men who live on land? How does age and training relate to the trust Melville claims sailors exhibit? Why does Billy have a greater sense of trust than Claggart since both are sailors?

Essay Topic 3

What is a "cat's paw" and which characters represent this analogy? Why does Claggart choose to use a "cat's paw" instead of dealing with Billy himself? How does the use of the "cat's paw" backfire on Claggart?

(see the answer keys)

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