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 Bartleby's demeanor show about his eccentricities?
(a) They are important.
(b) They are involuntary.
(c) They are unimportant.
(d) They are voluntary.

2. What quality of Bartleby's induces the narrator to hire him?
(a) Bartleby is friendly.
(b) Bartleby is energetic.
(c) Bartleby is sedate.
(d) Bartleby is efficient.

3. What food does Bartleby appear to eat exclusively?
(a) Chestnuts.
(b) Ginger nuts.
(c) Porridge.
(d) Pine nuts.

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

5. What is the profession of the narrator of Bartleby?
(a) Tax accountant.
(b) Judge.
(c) Stockbroker.
(d) Lawyer.

Short Answer Questions

1. What has the uncle in "The Happy Failure" invented?

2. What does Steelkilt threaten to do if he is flogged by the captain?

3. How long has the uncle in "The Happy Failure" worked on his invention?

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

5. What do the other employees think of Bartleby's refusals?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is the accuracy of copy verified by scriveners?

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

4. What words does the narrator use to describe Bartleby when he first meets him?

5. Why does the narrator continue to accept Bartleby's refusals?

6. What skills are necessary for a scrivener?

7. In "The Happy Failure," what is the uncle's great invention?

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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