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 two characteristics does Melville attribute to the islands of the Encantadas?

2. What emotion does the narrator of "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo?" say he has never felt since the rooster died?

3. What does Steelkilt threaten to do if he is flogged by the captain?

4. What does the crew decide not to do after Steelkilt is flogged?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Melville's work is full of allusions to mythic characters and settings with which he expects his reader to be familiar. Select a story such as "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" or "The Two Temples" to find the references to mythology. Look up the characters or locations and explain in your essay how these references strengthen the story.

Essay Topic 2

Setting is particularly important in Melville's stories. Select a story in which the setting is critical, such as the confinement of shipboard or the home as a center for domestic disputes. Analyze the use and power of the setting in the story you chose.

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.

(see the answer keys)

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