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 unusual about the pork at the Coulters' dinner table?
(a) It is not really pork.
(b) It is only fat and gristle.
(c) It is only hides.
(d) It is last year's.

2. How does the narrator describe life on the sea as compared to farming or working the Erie Canal?
(a) Sea life is "calm and pure."
(b) Sea life is "daring and brave."
(c) Sea life is "quietly Christian."
(d) Sea life is "reckless and barbaric."

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

4. What does the narrator's middle-aged employee offer to do for Bartleby?
(a) Black his eyes.
(b) Teach him manners.
(c) Teach him better work habits.
(d) Fire him.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What prevents Steelkilt from taking revenge on Radney?

2. Why does Coulter come home for lunch?

3. What does Melville believe the charities of London do for the poor?

4. Who is the worst enemy of the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?"

5. Where do both the captain and Steelkilt go after they separate?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the captain decide to do with Steelkilt and those who followed him in insubordination?

2. What is Nippers's shortcoming as a scrivener?

3. What skills are necessary for a scrivener?

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

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

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

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

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

9. What does Steelkilt demand to prevent a mutiny?

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

(see the answer keys)

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