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

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Who takes possession as the sole ruler of St. Charles Isle?
(a) A Chilean adventurer.
(b) A Bolivian pirate.
(c) A Creole soldier.
(d) A Peruvian king.

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

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

4. Why does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" believe he should not be sued?
(a) His interest payments are exorbitant.
(b) His debt was unfairly imposed.
(c) His creditor is a grumpy person.
(d) He is a hospitable, generous man.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the narrator describe life on the sea as compared to farming or working the Erie Canal?

2. How is the narrator punished for sneaking into the church?

3. How does Merrymusk convince the narrator that he is a rich man?

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

5. How does the narrator of "The Two Temples" attend the meeting at the church?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the landscape painter, B. Hobbema Brown, believe about the Marquis de Grandvin?

2. Why does Melville come to believe that some buccaneers on the isle of Albermarle must have been gentlemen?

3. Why did the other seamen suspect that Claggart was a nobleman?

4. Why did the Spanish naval board of inquiry at first reject parts of Benito Cereno's deposition?

5. What characteristics does Melville attribute to the archetypal "handsome sailor"?

6. What actual qualities made Claggart rise in the service?

7. Why did the first seven of Steelkilt's men come out of their imprisonment?

8. Why does the owner of the paper factory in "The Tartarus of Maids" tell the narrator that all of his workers are called "girls"?

9. What does the narrator say happens to one in command who discovers a subordinate who is "significantly his superior"?

10. Why does Melville call Redondo the "aviary of the ocean"?

(see the answer keys)

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