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. Why does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" believe he should not be sued?

2. What does Melville call the government the Creole soldier established on St. Charles?

3. What does a scrivener do?

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

5. Whose job is it to normally sweep the deck of a ship?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville employs a wide variety of stylistic techniques in his writing, including a poetic use of repetition. In "I and My Chimney," for example, he writes of " . . . a mysterious door, entering to a mysterious closet; and here I keep mysterious cordials of a choice, mysterious flavor." In your essay, analyze this and other examples of artful repetition you find in these stories.

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

A recurring theme in Melville's stories is the difference between appearance and reality. Choose a character such as Claggart, who appears to have only sterling qualities but is evil in his heart or a setting such as the mountain home in "The Piazza," which seems at first to be like a fairyland, to analyze the point Melville is making.

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