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. What nicknames does the narrator of Bartleby give his employees?

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

3. What did a strange boy give the narrator in the theater?

4. Why doesn't the narrator dismiss Bartleby for insubordination?

5. What action does Steelkilt determine to take after being locked in the hold?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Steelkilt demand to prevent a mutiny?

3. Why does Melville call Redondo the "aviary of the ocean"?

4. Why is the direct route for an ocean voyage not always the fastest or best, according to Melville in "The Encantadas"?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Melville is very fond of alliteration, such as " . . . mending rotten rail fences with their own rotten rails . . ." which is an incidence of "incipient idiocy." Find instances of this use of language and evaluate its effectiveness for you as a reader.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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