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. What has the uncle in "The Happy Failure" invented?
(a) A device for building dams.
(b) A device for purifying water.
(c) A device for draining swamps.
(d) A device for diverting rivers.

2. With what alliteration does Melville describe the islands?
(a) Dark, doleful doomsday.
(b) Extensive elegant exotica.
(c) An archipelago of aridities.
(d) Fruitful festival of fecundity.

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

4. What previous employment had shaped Bartleby?
(a) Working on a locomotive.
(b) Working as a court reporter.
(c) Working in a morgue.
(d) Working in a dead letter office.

5. What happens to the rooster when the Merrymusk family dies?
(a) The rooster dies too.
(b) The rooster is sold for five hundred dollars.
(c) The rooster goes home with the narrator.
(d) The rooster crows on the graves.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" treat his creditor after hearing the crow?

2. Why does Coulter come home for lunch?

3. What did the American ship, the Essex, see in the Encantadas?

4. What did a strange boy give the narrator in the theater?

5. What emotion does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" say he has never felt since the rooster died?

Short Essay Questions

1. What do the sailors in "The Encantadas" do with tortoises?

2. How does the poet Blandmour feel about poverty in "Poor Man's Pudding"?

3. In "Rich Man's Crumbs," why is the narrator called a "graceless ragamuffin"?

4. What skills are necessary for a scrivener?

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

6. What did Steelkilt's followers decide to do upon their release?

7. How have the Knights Templar changed, according to Melville's observations, in "The Paradise of Bachelors"?

8. What foibles does the narrator claim Jack Gentian possesses?

9. Why do the peacocks on the wallpaper in the parlor seem to the narrator to represent Jimmy Rose?

10. What does the narrator of "The Fiddler" first admire about Hautboy?

(see the answer keys)

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