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. What did buccaneers leave on the islands that Melville claims is proof of their better traits?

3. How does the narrator describe the men who work the Erie Canal?

4. What does the crew decide to do after Steelkilt is flogged?

5. What do the Peruvian listeners force the storyteller to do to prove his story is true?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did the first seven of Steelkilt's men come out of their imprisonment?

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

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

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

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

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

7. What verb tenses does Melville use in "The Two Temples" to bring immediacy to the story?

8. In "Rich Man's Crumbs," why is the narrator called a "graceless ragamuffin"?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

Melville has a gift for inventing language: "The picturesque yields to the pocketesque." The government of the island was a "riotocracy." Find and analyze examples of invented language. Are the new words useful? Comprehensible? Effective? Discuss their effect on you as a reader.

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