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

2. What surprises the narrator when he goes to his office on a Sunday?
(a) Bartleby has been working on the weekend.
(b) Bartleby has invited friends to the office.
(c) Bartleby has been living there.
(d) Bartleby has stolen his things.

3. How does the narrator accommodate the weakness of his oldest scrivener?
(a) By giving him unimportant papers in the afternoon.
(b) By hiring an assistant for him.
(c) By giving him unimportant papers in the morning.
(d) By allowing him to work only half a day.

4. Of what does the onstage action in the London theater remind the narrator?
(a) The theater at home on Broadway.
(b) The church service he had watched from the bell tower.
(c) The curmudgeonly landlady at his boarding house.
(d) His own childhood.

5. What object does the lookout spot that takes Melville's ship to Norfolk Isle?
(a) A handkerchief.
(b) A white bird.
(c) An American flag.
(d) A burning fire.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Melville say is the most populous species on the island of Albermarle?

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

3. Why is the narrator of "The Two Temples" not allowed to enter the church?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What are Turkey's shortcomings as a scrivener?

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. What skills are necessary for a scrivener?

(see the answer keys)

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