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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the profession of the narrator of Bartleby?

2. What surprises the narrator when he goes to his office on a Sunday?

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

4. What animal does Melville claim is not at home at sea, on land, or in the air?

5. How does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" treat his creditor after hearing the crow?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What differences does Melville claim exist between the archetypal handsome sailor and Billy Budd?

4. What does the narrator claim shows Jack Gentian's natural gentility?

5. What is Captain Delano's intention in boarding Benito Cereno's ship?

6. What does the landscape painter, B. Hobbema Brown, believe about the Marquis de Grandvin?

7. How does Melville describe Captain Vere in "Billy Budd"?

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

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

10. Why does the narrator of "I and My Chimney" believe his chimney is good for invalids?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Melville, as a product of his time and place, has opinions that are strongly racist, in the sense of making generalizations about groups of people. For example, "Spaniards are all an odd set; the very word Spaniard has a curious, conspirator, Guy-Fawkish twang to it." or "The 'Gee has a great appetite, but little imagination; a large eyeball, but small insight." or "When a mulatto has a regular European face, look out for him; he is a devil." In your essay, analyze these opinions and others like them.

Essay Topic 2

Melville states that Moby Dick operates to do the work of God by killing Radney. A Deus ex Machina (god out of the machine), where an outside source ends the conflict between characters, is a literary device often disparaged. In your essay, consider its effectiveness in this instance and in other Melville short stories where this method is employed.

Essay Topic 3

Melville's use of time, switching back and forth between present and past tenses in the same story, is an unusual method to bring the reader a sense of immediacy. Select a story such as "The Two Temples" to analyze the effectiveness of this technique.

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