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 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

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's elegaic pieces about the Marquis de Grandvin and others make clear the qualities he most admires. In your essay, use examples from these writings to show what qualities Melville thinks make for human greatness.

Essay Topic 3

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.

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