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 Bolivian pirate.
(b) A Chilean adventurer.
(c) A Peruvian king.
(d) A Creole soldier.

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

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

4. What was the message of the church meeting the narrator observed?
(a) "Hide not your light under a bushel."
(b) "Repent and be saved."
(c) "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's."
(d) "Ye are the salt of the earth."

5. How does Steelkilt respond to Radney's request that he sweep the deck?
(a) He meekly obeys.
(b) He complains loudly.
(c) He quietly refuses.
(d) He loudly refuses.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the profession of the narrator of Bartleby?

2. How does the narrator get into the London theater presentation?

3. Why does the captain decide not to flog Steelkilt?

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

5. How much does the uncle in "The Happy Failure" think his invention is worth?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What is Captain Delano's intention in boarding Benito Cereno's ship?

6. What does Melville say is the difference between boarding a strange ship and entering a strange house?

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

8. How does Melville describe Captain Vere in "Billy Budd"?

9. Why did the two remaining followers of Steelkilt each hope to be the first out of the hold?

10. Why doesn't the narrator in "The Piazza" grant Marianna's wish and tell her that he is the resident of the house that she believes contains happiness?

(see the answer keys)

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