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. How does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" view locomotives and steamships?

2. How does the narrator of "The Two Temples" attend the meeting at the church?

3. What benefit does the narrator get from his indulgence of Bartleby's eccentricities?

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

5. Why does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" call the rooster Signor Beneventano?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Steelkilt demand to prevent a mutiny?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville's purposes in writing are both artistic and moralistic. Select a story in which you see his purpose as basically one or the other, and give examples from the story in your essay that support your thesis.

Essay Topic 2

Melville was capable of a wide range of diction, or word choice, ranging from the staccato exclamations of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" to the alliterations of "The Encantadas," (an archipelago of aridities), to biblical allusions ("A virtue went out of him . . ." "I became a pillar of salt . . ."). Select one form of diction that impressed you about these stories, show examples of its use, and analyze its effectiveness.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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