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 does the narrator say a man does when confronted with an unreasonable situation?
(a) Questions his own mind.
(b) Digs in his heels.
(c) Doubts the other person.
(d) Acquiesces out of courtesy.

2. Why does the captain fear to shoot Steelkilt for his insubordination?
(a) It would be unfair.
(b) It would lead to a admiralty investigation.
(c) It would justify Radney's dishonorable actions.
(d) It would spark a mutiny.

3. What is the main task of the narrator's youngest employee in Bartleby?
(a) Cook.
(b) Errand boy.
(c) Copying.
(d) Legal research.

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

5. What does the arrangement of the office allow Bartleby to do with the narrator?
(a) Hear him but not see him.
(b) See him but not hear him.
(c) Neither see him nor hear him.
(d) Both see and hear him.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did the failure of his invention do for the uncle in "The Happy Failure?"

2. What two characteristics does Melville attribute to the islands of the Encantadas?

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

4. Of what does the onstage action in the London theater remind the narrator?

5. What do Steelkilt's three remaining conspirators decide to do to save themselves?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Melville believe that American poor suffer more than European poor?

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

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

4. How does the creditor in "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" torment the narrator?

5. How does the narrator respond the first time Bartleby answers a request with, "I would prefer not to"?

6. What does the author of "Poor Man's Pudding" and "Rich Man's Crumbs" pray that Heaven will save him from?

7. What stylistic devices does Melville use to give the reader the feeling of the rooster's crow in "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo"?

8. Why does the narrator say that pity turns into repulsion?

9. Why is the direct route for an ocean voyage not always the fastest or best, according to Melville in "The Encantadas"?

10. What superstition do sailors have about the tortoises in "The Encantadas"?

(see the answer keys)

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