Great Short Works of Herman Melville Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who are Pedro and Sebastian in The Town-Ho's Story?

2. To what sight in the city does Melville compare the islands of the Encantadas?

3. What was the message of the church meeting the narrator observed?

4. What does a scrivener do?

5. What previous employment had shaped Bartleby?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Melville refer to Oberlus as "a creature whom it is religion to detest?"

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

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

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

5. What purpose does the circle of listeners serve in "The Town-Ho's Story"?

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

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

8. What was disrespectful about Radney asking Steelkilt to sweep the deck?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville uses brief sketches to address large issues of social justice. Select two of the stories that work together, such as "The Paradise of Bachelors" and "The Tartarus of Maids," or "The Two Temples," to analyze the social issues addressed in those comparisons.

Essay Topic 2

One recurring theme in Melville's stories is the fate of an innocent man in the grip of malice he does not comprehend. Compare two such protagonists, such as Steelkilt and Billy Budd.

Essay Topic 3

An allegory is a story that is in itself a symbol or represents an idea. Select one of Melville's allegories, such as "The Piazza" or "The Bell Tower" to analyze in terms of its symbolic significance.

(see the answer keys)

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