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 naval ship does Billy serve on?

2. Which mutiny is discussed in chapter five?

3. Which character is known for his simplicity and naiveté?

4. What does another sailor try to give Billy in chapter 14?

5. Which character is known for his cheerful disposition?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Melville explain moral depravity?

2. Describe John Claggart.

3. How does Melville contrast Billy and Claggart's characters?

4. Who is the Dansker and how does he help Billy?

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

6. How does the scourging affect Billy?

7. What is a mutiny?

8. Who is Starry Vere?

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

10. Why is Claggart "down" on Billy?

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

What role does the social community on board the Bellipotent play in the novel? How are the characters affected by the extended amount of time they spend living and working together in a relatively small area? How are conflicts resolved among crew members? How do unresolved conflicts affect the characters in the novel?

Essay Topic 3

How does emotional repression affect the development of emotion among the sailors on the Bellipotent? How does Claggart's repression of feelings magnify his anger? What is the consequence of his repression? How does Billy's repression of his feelings magnify his sense of confusion? What is the consequence of his repression?

(see the answer keys)

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