Great Short Works of Herman Melville Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Why doesn't the narrator dismiss Bartleby for insubordination?
(a) Bartleby is obviously emotionally upset.
(b) Bartleby promises to improve.
(c) Bartleby is distressed.
(d) Bartleby is calm, showing no emotion.

2. How does Melville describe pelicans?
(a) Woebegone and penitential.
(b) Modest and humble.
(c) Clever and complicated.
(d) Elegant and streamlined.

3. What did the failure of his invention do for the uncle in "The Happy Failure?"
(a) Made him furious.
(b) Made him a good man.
(c) Made him more determined.
(d) Made him disappointed.

4. Why does the Town-Ho's captain have to put the ship into port?
(a) There has been a mutiny on board.
(b) It has run out of supplies.
(c) It has sprung a leak.
(d) Its crewmen are ill with scurvy.

5. What good qualities does Bartleby have as an employee?
(a) He is eager to help.
(b) He is amiable and friendly.
(c) He is hard-working and honest.
(d) He is enthusiastic and energetic.

6. What is the narrator's condition when he goes to the theater in London?
(a) He is broke and alone.
(b) He is bored and overfed.
(c) He is comfortable and among friends.
(d) He is well-fed and relaxed.

7. What was the message of the church meeting the narrator observed?
(a) "Ye are the salt of the earth."
(b) "Repent and be saved."
(c) "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."
(d) "Hide not your light under a bushel."

8. What surprises the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" about the owner of the rooster?
(a) He is poor.
(b) He has many such roosters.
(c) He is old.
(d) He has a large family.

9. What do Steelkilt and his men demand in return for obeying orders?
(a) Radney will be punished.
(b) They will not be punished.
(c) They will be given better wages.
(d) They will not have to sweep the decks.

10. What does the crew decide to do after Steelkilt is flogged?
(a) Obey the captain.
(b) Murder Radney.
(c) Desert together.
(d) Start a mutiny.

11. How much does the uncle in "The Happy Failure" think his invention is worth?
(a) More than silver.
(b) More than his house.
(c) More than a life's work.
(d) More than gold.

12. How is the narrator punished for sneaking into the church?
(a) He is imprisoned.
(b) He is warned and set free.
(c) He is publicly embarrassed, but pardoned.
(d) He is jailed overnight and fined.

13. How does the narrator describe life on the sea as compared to farming or working the Erie Canal?
(a) Sea life is "daring and brave."
(b) Sea life is "quietly Christian."
(c) Sea life is "calm and pure."
(d) Sea life is "reckless and barbaric."

14. What does Melville believe the charities of London do for the poor?
(a) The charities of London embolden the poor.
(b) The charities of London soften the poor.
(c) The charities of London madden the poor.
(d) The charities of London strengthen the poor.

15. What do the other employees think of Bartleby's refusals?
(a) They think Bartleby should be forgiven.
(b) They think Bartleby should be fired.
(c) They think Bartleby should be promoted.
(d) They think Bartleby should be excused.

Short Answer Questions

1. What animal does Melville claim is not at home at sea, on land, or in the air?

2. What surprises the narrator when he goes to his office on a Sunday?

3. How does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" view locomotives and steamships?

4. What do the Peruvian listeners force the storyteller to do to prove his story is true?

5. What food does Bartleby appear to eat exclusively?

(see the answer keys)

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