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 does the captain decide not to flog Steelkilt?
(a) He suddenly feels sorry for Steelkilt.
(b) He suddenly feels ashamed of his own behavior.
(c) He suddenly feels the menace of the rest of the crew.
(d) Steelkilt makes an inaudible threat.

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

3. How does the narrator of "The Two Temples" attend the meeting at the church?
(a) He disguises himself as the bell ringer.
(b) He sneaks into the foyer.
(c) He hides in the bell tower.
(d) He bribes the man who guards the door.

4. What did the American ship, the Essex, see in the Encantadas?
(a) A pirate ship.
(b) A ghost ship.
(c) An English ship.
(d) An enchanted ship.

5. What human assumption does Melville say is the most preposterous?
(a) Understanding of the rich by the poor.
(b) Understanding of the poor by the rich.
(c) Criticism of the poor by the rich.
(d) Criticism of the rich by the poor.

6. What is unusual about the pork at the Coulters' dinner table?
(a) It is only hides.
(b) It is last year's.
(c) It is not really pork.
(d) It is only fat and gristle.

7. What nicknames does the narrator of Bartleby give his employees?
(a) Chompers, Grumpy, and Short Stuff.
(b) Chicken, Rooster, and Cluck.
(c) Grandpa, Grumpy, and The Kid.
(d) Turkey, Nippers, and Ginger Nut.

8. What action does Steelkilt determine to take after being locked in the hold?
(a) He will seize the ship.
(b) He will kill the captain.
(c) He will kill Radney.
(d) He will apologize.

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

10. What animal from the islands supplies sailors with food and utensils?
(a) The iguana.
(b) The seal.
(c) The albatross.
(d) The tortoise.

11. What is Poor Man's Pudding?
(a) Flour, sugar, cinnamon, and milk.
(b) Water, salt, and flour.
(c) Rice, milk, and salt.
(d) Milk, eggs, and sugar.

12. How does the narrator accommodate the weakness of his oldest scrivener?
(a) By hiring an assistant for him.
(b) By allowing him to work only half a day.
(c) By giving him unimportant papers in the morning.
(d) By giving him unimportant papers in the afternoon.

13. What makes Moby Dick an unusual whale?
(a) He is unusually large, white, and vengeful.
(b) He is unusually small, white, and intelligent.
(c) He is intelligent and communicates with people.
(d) He has supernatural powers.

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

15. How does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" view the world?
(a) Full of sunshine, flowers, and rainbows.
(b) Full of casualties, despotism, and knocks on the head.
(c) Full of dangers, snares, and delusions.
(d) Full of puzzles, traps, and confusion.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Coulter come home for lunch?

2. What is the first thing Bartleby says he would prefer not to do?

3. What good qualities does Bartleby have as an employee?

4. Why is the narrator not pleased with Bartleby's industriousness?

5. What does Melville say is the most populous species on the island of Albermarle?

(see the answer keys)

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